Colossal squid: Disappearing hooks?

Colossal squid: Disappearing hooks?

Close up view of the amazing rotating hooks on a freshly thawed colossal squid
Close up view of the amazing rotating hooks on a freshly thawed colossal squid

More news from the squid tank. This morning I caught up with Robert Clendon the conservator who is looking after the work on the squid.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been a bit concerned about the hooks on the tentacles and the arms. It looked as though the hooks could be disappearing. Not something we wanted to hear, as these are one of the most interesting and distinctive features of the colossal squid.

Robert has been away in Wichita, Kansas looking after Te Papa’s touring exhibition Whales | Tohorā so we had to wait until he was back to see what could be going on.

With the lid off the tank and some of the liquid drained away Robert has been able to take a good look at the hooks. We’re happy to hear the excellent news that the hooks aren’t dissolving – it just looks that way!

The hooks on the squid’s tentacles and arms have tissue around them. When the squid was first thawed and dissected the hooks were very prominent and stood well up from the surrounding tissue.

After being preserved and sitting in the glycol for several months the tissue around the hooks has swelled up and is now covering more of the hooks.

So it just looks as if the hooks have disappeared, but in fact they are still there – which is a relief. A colossal squid with no amazing, big hooks is not a good look.

1 Comment

  1. Great to hear the squid still has it’s hooks in and isn’t loosing it’s grip! How about the specimen jars? are the bits still looking alright? Glad the lid got on and off ok…

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