As the specimens thaw Dr O’Shea, Dr Kubodera and Kat Bolstad are examining them. The first image shows Dr O’Shea untangling the tentacles of the female giant squid. This specimen is in excellent condition.
Dr Kubodera examining the giant squid eye.
Kat Bolstad thawing the “smaller” colossal specimen. This specimen has been damaged and is in several pieces – giving us the opportunity to examine the anatomy of it in detail. Giant squid have ammonia in their tissues which is used to control the buoyancy of the animal – the arms of the smaller colossal squid lack any trace of ammonia, however the mantle could have some – we will know this later today as it thaws. Initial examination of the suckers suggests there are some morphological differences we cannot account for as yet. This may be a juvenile specimen – we will know more as it thaws fully.
Kat Bolstad with the giant squid – unfortunately, although the specimen is in good condition, most of the arms are missing.
Te Papa mollusca section assistant Stephanie McKenzie takes time out from data management to examine the tentacles of the giant squid.