Colossal Squid – live!

Te Papa is excited to announce that there’s something big – extremely big – in our freezer.

What's in our freezer? Photographer: Jean-Claude Stahl © Te Papa

What’s in our freezer? Photographer: Jean-Claude Stahl © Te Papa

It’s got eight arms and two tentacles, with some rather fearsome looking hooks. It’s got eyes the size of a soccer ball. It’s got a doughnut-shaped brain.

Can you guess what it is yet?

Do you recognise these hooks? Photographer: Jean-Claude Stahl © Te Papa

Do you recognise these hooks? Photographer: Jean-Claude Stahl © Te Papa

It’s a new colossal squid!

Te Papa is extremely grateful to have received a colossal squid specimen, caught several months ago in the Ross Sea. Large colossal squid specimens in good condition are rarely available to scientists, so specialists on squid biology from Auckland University of Technology are helping Te Papa in September to undertake research on the specimen.

Although Te Papa already has one intact colossal squid specimen, this latest find has caused great excitement. This colossal squid and the specimen already on display are the only two specimens of this species caught intact – ever! It’s a rare and exciting opportunity for scientists to examine these creatures. Many aspects of colossal squid biology remain a mystery, so this  specimen will be examined thoroughly to gain as much knowledge as possible.

The colossal squid will be defrosted in this tank. Photographer: Jean-Claude Stahl © Te Papa

The colossal squid will be defrosted in this tank. Photographer: Jean-Claude Stahl © Te Papa

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be blogging about what the squid scientists hope to find, thawing the colossal squid, and more about the species’ biology and habitat.

The defrosting of the specimen and scientific examination will take place on 16th September and will be live streamed on YouTube from 11am. Our presenter will be Veronika Meduna, from Radio New Zealand’s Our Changing World.
You can watch on YouTube or watch below.

Get involved

If you have questions for our squid scientists, email sciencelive@tepapa.govt.nz. We’ll answer your questions during the live show.

For regular updates and the latest on the colossal squid, follow:

Visit Te Papa’s colossal squid website to find out more about this species

Schools

We’re running a special part of the live-stream just for schools. From 11.30–12 on 16 Sep, we’ll be answering questions from classrooms across New Zealand. To join in and get your class’s question answered, email:
sciencelive@tepapa.govt.nz

3 Responses

  1. Joao Bento

    Why is the colossal squid brain, donut shaped?

    Reply
  2. Joao Bento

    How does the giant squid adquires the ballon type body?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)