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Don Olney
04-03-2003, 08:50 AM
Rare colossal squid captured

Only second ever caught; found in Antarctic waters

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, April 3 — Fishermen working in Antarctic waters have made an extremely rare catch - a colossal squid with eyes as big as dinner plates and razor-sharp hooks on its tentacles, a marine researcher said Thursday.

THE 330-POUND, 16-foot-long specimen was caught in the Ross Sea, said Steve O’Shea, a research fellow with the Auckland University of Technology. He said the squid was a young female; adults are much bigger.

Going by the scientific name Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, the animal is unrelated to the smaller and more common giant squid, O’Shea said.

“This animal is formidable,” he told New Zealand’s National Radio. While the giant squid eats “quite small prey,” the colossal squid eats large prey like the Patagonian toothfish, which can grow more than six feet long.

Fully grown, the colossal squid would be “larger than any giant squid I have seen, and I’ve seen 105 of them,” O’Shea said.

Only one other colossal squid has ever been caught before. Scientists knew of their existence because their beaks have been found in the stomachs of sperm whales.

“All we know is that it can move through the water ... to a depth of 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) and it is an extremely active and extremely aggressive killer,” O’Shea said.

It differs from the giant squid “by having enormous hooks arming the tentacles and the arms,” he said.

The creature makes up three-quarters of the diet of large sperm whales, which suggests there are large numbers of them in Antarctic waters, O’Shea said. He said the squid was caught near the surface of the ocean.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/894828.asp?0cv=CB20

MarkC
04-03-2003, 10:07 AM
Thanks for that Don.

I find it interesting that we humans are building a space station and talking about going to Mars, yet we don't really know what's down there in the deep.

Maybe when this latest war is over, human kind can focus in on a discovery expedition - I can say I'd rather watch that on tv than conflict however important the conflict is. Ok, that robot down the pyramid in Egypt was a bit of a dud -but it was exploration. The multinational salvage operation based on that russian ship that found the deepest wooden shipwreck was great. Even though it contained coconuts - I would have paid to be there!

I know it sounds silly, but I wonder if a Sperm Whale would mind wearing a 'head cam' when it goes for lunch?

Also I liked;
'Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, the animal is unrelated to the smaller and more common giant squid, O’Shea said'.

I would be happy just to see a giant squid!

and;

'While the giant squid eats “quite small prey,” the colossal squid eats large prey like the Patagonian toothfish, which can grow more than six feet long'.

...or divers, or sailors...

and;

'Fully grown, the colossal squid would be “larger than any giant squid I have seen, and I’ve seen 105 of them,” O’Shea said'.

105 squids! Lucky bastard. Maybe he should take 'squid watching tours' - New Zealand's new adventure attraction!

Cheers - Mark

Ken Hall
04-03-2003, 10:44 AM
Somebody did do a whalecam a couple of years back, but the whale didn't find a giant squid before they ran out of time and money.

John B
04-03-2003, 02:38 PM
It was on TV a couple of nights ago. You should see the hooks on the thing. These hooks were eccentrically placed on flesh buttons so they swiveled and they always grabbed.efficient!!
The beak was of a size to take a hand off quite simply and the eye was described as the biggest eye of anything on earth.

NormMessinger
04-04-2003, 10:40 AM
Would someone please pronounce Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni for me? Why don't they just call it, oh, Jane?

Wonderful critters, squid. Eyes as highly evloved as our own yet from a different beginning.

bobbys
11-18-2010, 07:20 PM
"Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni"

Mez-oh-knee-co-tooth-us ham-ill-toe-knee

[ 04-04-2003, 12:29 PM: Message edited by: Donn ].

Tanks Donn i was wonderin how to pronounce this.

CapnJ2ds
11-23-2010, 05:02 AM
There's actually a plan to attach cameras to sperm whales off Kaikoura with the intention of getting photos of these beasties.