Posts categorized as Colossal squid

Dissection of giant squid

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The dissection of the giant squid  – Steve O’Shea and Tsunemi Kubodera using the endoscope to examine the stomach to see if there are any contents before the specimen is cut open. This is the gill – we are injecting ink into the blood vessels to show them more clearly: Nidamental gland (arrow): This specimen… Read more »

Message from Mark in the tank

I’m the bald guy on the Squid Cam – just out of the tank for a bit! Thanks for you comments. It’s a real balancing act when you want to protect sea life but also want to find out about it. It is sad that the squid died but it’s up to us to use… Read more »

Removing the net . . . and a question of squid size


Mark Fenwick and Kat Bolstad are in the tank carefully cutting the landing net away from the thawing squid. Fortunately the squid is still partially frozen and is floating, which makes the task much easier.   The beak of the colossal squid has been exposed as the flesh thaws. Preliminary measurement of the lower beak… Read more »

Beak size

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While the large colossal squid thaws the scientists are continuing their examination of the other ‘smaller’ colossal and the giant squid.  Dr Kubodera with the beak of the giant squid: By measuring beak size of these specimens, we can calculate the size of other specimens of beaks found in the stomachs of sperm whales –… Read more »

Who’s who


The squid team: left to right – Mark Fenwick (Te Papa); Olaf Blaauw (Tonmo); Steve O’Shea (AUT); Tsunemi Kubodera (National Science Museum Tokyo); Kat Bolstad (AUT). You will also see Carol Diebel (Director Natural Environment Te Papa), Bruce Marshall (Te Papa Malacologist),  and Chris Paulin (Te Papa) lurking on the webcams from time to time…. Read more »

Melting ice

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The colossal squid specimen has been slowly thawing overnight. Shortly we will assess how far it has progressed and add another tonne of ice, as the temperature of the water has been creeping up and is above 8 degrees centigrade. We had hoped for a good Wellington southerly with air temperatures around 10-12 degrees, but… Read more »

Audio on SquidCam

Thanks for all the comments about audio. Sorry we didn’t have it straight away. In response to all the comments we have arranged for audio in the examination room. It won’t be on 24/7 but we will try to make sure it’s there to help you keep track of what’s going on. Note we’ve switched it… Read more »

Colossal squid out of the freezer

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3.30 pm: the squid is now sitting in the thawing tank while we remove the tarpaulin and ropes around it. It will now be left overnight to thaw slowly. To keep the temperature even we will place the lid on the tank overnight, so there will not be a lot to see until tomorrow morning…. Read more »

Squid brain!


The scientists are all gathered around to look at the beak and brain – the maximum weight of the brain is 22 grams and surrounds the oesophagus. The oesophagus is 11 mm in diametre, therefore everything it eats has to be chopped into tiny pieces as it has to pass through the brain!    … Read more »