Firstly my apologies for being away for so long! I have been writing and getting ready for next month but unfortunately that has meant less posts as of late. However I am back with another massive beast, I bet you could guess what it is from the title so I’ll just tell you today I’m talking all about the giant squid!
Unlike the last episode of An Introduction To Giants, giant squid are very much alive and in this world today. They come from the genus Architeuthis and are a deep-ocean dwelling squid. When I say they are giant they really are, the estimated size for a giant squid is around 13 metres for a female and 10 for a male when measuring from the from the posterior fins to the tip of the two long tentacles. To put that into perspective a regular squid come in at 60 centimetres long. Giant squid also have the largest eyes of any living creature!
What do they eat?
I joke of course although that does make for a cracking film. Studies have shown that giant squid feed on deep-sea fish and other squid species. They use their powerful tentacles and sucker rings (as shown in the picture) to target prey and they can snatch prey up to 33 feet (10 meters). They then pull the prey into their the powerful beak, and shred it with the radula (tongue with small, file-like teeth). They are believed to be solo hunters.
Where can you find a giant squid?
They live in the deepest oceans making them a particularly difficult species to find. It actually wasn’t until 2012 that a Japanese group of scientists were able to catch the giant squid on camera.
How can they grow so large?
There are many things that grow much larger in the deep sea than they would anywhere else. This concept is known as Deep-sea gigantism or abyssal gigantism. Although the reason for this is not truly known some explanations have been adaptations to scarcer food, greater pressure or the colder temperatures that come with the deep sea.
Is there anything bigger?!
In the squid world there is one bigger than the giant squid which is the colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni). The largest specimen of this species was caught in 2007 off the coast of New Zealand and it was 495kg and 4.5 metres long. However current estimates are that the colossal squid would measure around 12-14 metres.