Colossal chromatophores

The skin of the colossal squid is considerably thicker than that of the giant squid. As shown in the photo the colossal squid skin has at least two layers, the outer one of which quite resembles that of Architeuthis (giant squid).

The inner skin covering the muscles is gelatinous in nature and contains somewhat larger chromatophores. The latter are the little red dots that you can see on the photo. They are pigments containing cells that can contract or expand, determining the colour of the animal.

The outer skin contains many more smaller chromatophores but is only paper thin when compared to the inner skin, which is at least 2 cm thick in places.

The skin of the giant squid appears to have only one layer, resembling the outer skin of the colossal squid.

6 Responses

  1. Jeff G.

    This could eb the coolest thing I’ve ever seen on the web. Awesome!

  2. Sharon

    At 9:15 A.M. Kiwitime (Wed)there are three cameras with shots of the big Messie. Which of the three show the most accurate color?

  3. chrispaulin

    They pulled it onboard in a net with a crane.

  4. Shabnam

    Just wondering..

    How did they manage to carry it onboard and into a freezer? 1000 pounds is alot!

  5. Florence Liger

    Yes you are right – they have been picking the net off the skin.

    The squid was frozen on the fishing boat, San Aspiring in the Ross Sea, Antartica. It was frozen in the net used to bring it onto the boat.

  6. Heather Smith

    First of all, THANK YOU for allowing us all over the world and especially here in New Hampshire, US to watch the amazing work you are doing. My question is, what is he picking off of the colossal squid skin? Was it pieces of net or something else?

    I can’t wait until it’s thawed – I’ve been a HUGE fan of the giant squid since the first evidence found of one!!


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