Colossal squid – the defrost begins

It takes a forklift, a hosepipe and several dedicated scientists to get the colossal squid from the freezer to the tank.

Moving the colossal squid from freezer to defrost tank. Photographer: Susan Waugh © Te Papa

Moving the colossal squid from freezer to defrost tank. Photographer: Susan Waugh © Te Papa

Scientists from Te Papa and Auckland University of Technology have assembled at Te Papa to begin defrosting the colossal squid.

First look at the squid. Photographer: Susan Waugh © Te Papa

First look at the squid. Photographer: Susan Waugh © Te Papa

As the squid is such a large animal, it’s anticipated that it will take over 24 hours to defrost. To help the defrosting process the squid is sitting in a large tank of water, with continual cold water running over it. The outside of the squid defrosts faster than the inside, so the cold water keeps it at an even temperature.

Scientists examine the colossal squid. Photographer: Ruth Hendry © Te Papa

Scientists examine the colossal squid. Photographer: Ruth Hendry © Te Papa

Scientists have begun taking samples from the specimen, including DNA. This will be stored so that scientists in the future, from Te Papa and across the world, can access the DNA for their research.

Get involved!

Watch live online tomorrow – 16 September – as scientists from Te Papa and Auckland University of Technology carry out their examination and research. Our presenter will be Veronika Meduna, from Radio New Zealand’s Our Changing World.

Watch on YouTube, or watch below.

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

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