Colossal squid countdown… to 13 December 2008

Saturday 13 December 2008 has been confirmed as the day that Te Papa’s colossal squid will go on display – just in time for Christmas!

On this day visitors to Te Papa in Wellington will be able to see the female colossal squid – the world’s most massive invertebrate, weighing 495 kilos – on display for the first time.

Expect the unexpected as we tell the story of the colossal squid, share what we’ve found out about it with you and bring her to life. 

But if you’re a squid fan living in Alaska or India and can’t make it to Te Papa just yet, you’ll still be able to engage with the colossal squid online through a fabulous new website.

So there’s a bit for our squid team to do, best we get on with it!

25th September

The display tank is getting its final fit-out.  Etech staff are currently fitting the perspex lid to the tank. This will take 1-2 days, then the lighting and pumps will be finally istalled. That will leave the mounting system which will support the specimen in the tank to be completed while we develop a plan of how to move the tank to the Cable Street gallery. The gallery will be closed from around mid-November to allow preparation work, tank installation and final installation of the display. 

2 Responses

  1. Chris Paulin

    Hi Dave

    The age of this specimen can only be estimated by examination of the statoliths. (The statoliths are two tiny bones that the squid uses to orientate and balance itself). In coastal squid species it is known that daily growth rings are laid down on these statoliths, so it is possible to examine them under a microscope and count the rings to get an age estimate. Statoliths from giant squid reveal that they only live for a maximum of less than 3-4 years. To date nobody has examined any statoliths from a colossal squid – we did not remove the statoliths from our large specimen as we wanted to keep it intact for display.

    Reply
  2. DAVE BLOM

    CAN THE AGE OF THIS SPECIUM BE DETERMINED ALONG WITH ESTIMATES OF MAXIUM SIZE?

    Reply

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