Nz Squid Speciman
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Posted 29 November 2011 - 06:10 PM
New Zealand fishermen catch rare squid By RAY LILLEY, Associated Press
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A fishing crew has caught a colossal squid that
could weigh a half-ton and prove to be the biggest specimen ever landed,
a fisheries official said Thursday.
The squid, weighing an estimated 990 lbs and about 39 feet long, took two
hours to land in Antarctic waters, New Zealand Fisheries Minister Jim
The fishermen were catching Patagonian toothfish, sold under the name
Chilean sea bass, south of New Zealand "and the squid was eating a hooked
toothfish when it was hauled from the deep," Anderton said.
The fishing crew and a fisheries official on board their ship estimated
the length and weight of the squid: Detailed, official measurements have
not been made. The date when the colossus was caught also was not
Colossal squid, known by the scientific name Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni,
are estimated to grow up to 46 feet long and have long been one of the
most mysterious creatures of the deep ocean.
If original estimates are correct, the squid would be 330 pounds heavier
than the next biggest specimen ever found.
"I can assure you that this is going to draw phenomenal interest. It is
truly amazing," said Dr. Steve O'Shea, a squid expert at the Auckland
University of Technology. If calamari rings were made from the squid they
would be the size of tractor tires, he added.
Colossal squid can descend to 6,500 feet and are extremely active,
aggressive hunters, he said.
The frozen squid will be transported to New Zealand's national museum, Te
Papa, in the capital, Wellington, to be preserved for scientific study.
Marine scientists "will be very interested in this amazing creature as it
adds immeasurably to our understanding of the marine environment,"
Colossal squid are found in Antarctic waters and are not related to giant
squid found round the coast of New Zealand. Giant squid grow up to 39
feet long, but are not as heavy as colossal squid.
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