Colossal dissection (smaller specimen)

Colossal dissection (smaller specimen)

The large colossal squid is thawing . . . meanwhile, we are currently setting up for the dissection this afternoon. The scientists will be dissecting the smaller, damaged colossal squid.

The dissection table has had to be changed because the colossal squid is a lot wider than the giant squid we were looking at earlier. We’ve also had to change the angle of our cameras to handle the longer specimen!

Peter Batson from Dunedin, NZ is going to commentate the dissection. He’ll have a mike and will be right there with the scientists. We hope this way you will get clearer audio.

Let us know if there are any specific questions you have about this afternoon.

We have just weighed the anterior mantle of the smaller colossal squid: 71 kg; the tail fin and part mantle section weighed 63 kg and the head and arms (brachial crown)section weighed 27 kg – a total weight of 161 kg!

The three sections of the smaller specimen take up the entire width and length of our three dissection tables.

The tentacles are 2.45 metres long – much shorter than the giant squid tentacles, but the total body length of this specimen is longer than the giant squid.


  1. awesome!! for 3 years i was fascinated by the giant squid, now i am fascinated by colossal! man..both i wish we could see them live and kicking, but now giant squid was caught on camera!! colossal squid is just “fatter” considering giant squid “longer” colossal is just “big made” and large

  2. This is compulsive viewing, not often one gets a life view of history in the making. Looking forward to tomorrow.

  3. Further to the fingerprints question – the teeth on the suckers are in arrangements unique to a squid species (so by looking at the sucker ring it is often possible to tell what species the squid was), but not to individuals within a species.

  4. They probably mainly eat fish. The present specimens were tangled in toothfish fishing lines. Their gut contents have not yet been analyzed. Often, giant squid stomachs are empty, suggesting they may digest their food very quickly.

  5. Thanks alot to chris and mark. You two are very helpful!

    I got interested in giant squids after watching a documentary on the bermuda triangle. In the documentary they were talking about the possibility of squids taking down the ships using there suckers and tentacles many years ago. Are they really that powerful?

    I cant wait to see the colossal tomorrow!

  6. Do we know what these amazing animals ate?

  7. Muchos kudos to all of you, you’re doing a spectacular job!

    Kat, you’re a bit hard to hear, you may want to get closer to the microphone…

    Perhaps I can save a bit of effort by responding to Shabnam’s question, too:

    The specimens being examined today and tomorrow are “colossal squids” which are heavier and more muscular than “giant squids” such as the one examined yesterday and this morning. The very long lengths occasionally reported are usually the giant, Architeuthis, because they have a very long pair of feeding tentacles that stretch like rubber bands, so sometimes the folks measuring them stretch them way out, hoping for a world record. The usual measure for these animals is the length of the “mantle,” the main body, which doesn’t stretch much, and is probably longer, and certainly bigger around and more muscular, in the largest colossal squids than the largest giant squids. There haven’t been any verified reports of squids 100 feet long, though, I think the longest anyone managed to stretch Architeuthis tentacles was about 75 or 80 feet.

  8. The 4 cams are being monitored and are being moved. We are currently changing the views to make them show the dissection table better. For the timelags, it can be due to network delays that we cannot easily control.

  9. I have the link with the 4 cams at once on and I just noticed that right top one and the right bottom one seem to be showing the same view to the moment but at different times. I see someone walk past the table on the top one and then again on the bottom right one. Is that happening for anyone else watching?

  10. The larger colossal squid is still in the tank, but it’s all folded up, so it appears to be smaller.

  11. I cant seem to distinguish it. which is the larger squid? I heard something about a 100 ft long squid, could there be one?

  12. We don’t think that the suckers have a uniqueness like the fingerprints do.

  13. We have realized it too. We are working on fixing this right now.

  14. The live commentary is great when you can hear it. It keeps going off for me and other noises are making it difficult to hear for me sometimes too.

  15. The commentator mentioned sucker marks on the squid with the unkown being if they were made by the squid itself or other squid. Do the suckers have uniqueness similar to fingerprints? If so then checking the suckers may give a clue.

    Just a thought.

  16. Absolutely fascinating!! The webcasts are sensational and having the live commentary is awesome!

    Fantastic work! 🙂

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