Posts categorized as Colossal squid


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Dr O’Shea and Dr Kubodera are taking measurements of the colossal squid characteristics, for example measurements of the tentacle portions, the carpus (‘wrist’), manus (‘palm’ or ‘hand’), and dactylus (‘digit’ or ‘finger’). Counts of the numbers of suckers and claws . . . . The second eye is still frozen, but is 25-27 cm in… Read more »

The eye


My name is Prof. Eric Warrant from the University of Lund in Sweden (blonde hair, blue glasses), and I am here together with Prof. Dan Nilsson (also from Lund) to study the gigantic eyes of the colossal squid. These are truly amazing eyes – in the collapsed state we see here, they measure 25 cm… Read more »

Update of schedule

Here’s an update of the schedule for today. We know the squid is taking longer to thaw than we thought so even this schedule may change. 11am Media 12.30 – we off for some lunch 2pm onwards – Filming by Discovery Channel 4pm Endoscope, move formalin drums into the room 5-6pm? Defrost continues After that… Read more »



You may see us on TV later! Mark enjoying his birthday up to his waist in a tank with 495 kg of squid, answering questions and being watched by about 2,100 people on the webcam! We had 99,000 hits on the Te Papa website yesterday, and 79,000 so far today.

Unfolding the eye


As the specimen is still folded in a block we are using an underwater camera to determine how the specimen is positioned. The camera revealed the eye! The eye is HUGE! The lens alone is 50 mm across, but we won’t be able to get an exact measurement until it has thawed further. The lens… Read more »

Hooks and suckers


The hooks seem to grab everyone’s attention (pun intended). Other squid families have hooks on the arms, or the tentacles, or both, but the colossal squid is the only hooked squid in its family (the Cranchiidae, about 20 species). It possesses hooks on each of the eight arms, and also on the two long tentacles,… Read more »

Colossal squid defrost


We are trying to defrost the specimen – it’s proving to be a colossal headache as the central core is still a solid block of ice. (Not enough experience with cooking those Christmas turkeys among the scientists!). We are expecting some media cameras to arrive shortly, so for those of you watching online (all 2,000+)… Read more »

Colossal squid examination


The large colossal squid is still not completely thawed. We are running water over it and hope to be able to start teasing the tissues apart later this morning. At present Dr Kubodera is examining the internal anatomy of the smaller colossal squid. Unlike the giant squid, the internal organs are suspended from the upper… Read more »

What’s all this beak business?

You may have seen us removing and examining the beaks of the giant and smaller colossal squids yesterday, so we thought we’d give some background on cephalopod beaks and why they’re important. The beaks (one upper and one lower in all squid, octopus and their relatives) are the first stage of the squid’s digestive system… Read more »

Happy birthday Mark!

It’s Mark’s 30th birthday today – what a fantastic way to spend your birthday! If you’re watching SquidCam he’s the one in the tank. The bald one he called himself yesterday.