It’s a lovely spring Friday morning in Wellington. What else would we (Pamela, Chris and Judy – our brave and newest squid team member) be doing other than dissecting a couple of nice fresh squid from the local wholesale fish supplier? It’s all in the interest of bringing you a bigger andRead more

Bioluminescence (light produced by living animals or plants) is common among squid – it is estimated that two-thirds of all squid genera contain bioluminescent (light producing) species. Light production using photophores (special light producing structures) can be found nearly anywhere on the body of some squid species: the most common ones are:Read more

The squid has been stitched as much as we can – Steve describes it as trying to sew two blocks of butter together. As we re-fill the tank with the glycol mixture we are placing bags filled with water to spread the mantle out and give it some support. BeingRead more

Specimens in museum collections are usually preserved in a 70 per cent aqueous solution of ethyl alcohol or in a 2-4 per cent solution of formaldehyde (5-10 per cent formalin). The great disadvantages of ethyl alcohol are that it is flammable, it volatilizes very readily, it tends to produce precipitatesRead more

The hooks seem to grab everyone’s attention, so here’s an update 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,Read more

On Sunday evening 11 May 2008 Te Papa closed Whales|Tohorā. Over 140,000 people had visited the exhibition. During the morning several killer whales, or orca, played by the fountain in Oriental Bay – much to the delight and amazement of several of the Whales exhibition team members. We like toRead more

We just found the ovaries – the specimen is a girl! Here’s an image from the microscope video (x150) – showing a bunch of eggs….the ovaries are full of several thousands of eggs!Read more

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 seeRead more

  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 untilRead more

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 alsoRead more

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 stageRead more

The colossal squid – first described in the early 20th century – is known from about 11 specimens, of which only three or four are intact: most are fragments of arms or branchial crowns recovered from sperm whale stomachs. Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, has one complete subadultRead more