Investigating a Colossus
Te Papa’s colossal squid, the largest ever caught, has created a worldwide media furore making headlines from South Africa and Germany, to Iran and Uruguay. Very little is known about colossal squid; only about 10 have ever been caught and brought to shore. This 495kg, 10-meter long female squid was caught in the Ross Sea last year, defrosted this week and then dissected in a delicate operation broadcast live on the museum’s website. The squid’s eyes are the size of soccer balls and visiting Swedish professor Eric Warrant says they measure about 30cm across. “These are without doubt the largest eyes that have ever been studied, and probably among the largest eyes that have existed during the history of the animal kingdom,” Professor Warrant concluded. Once thawed and examined, the squid will be embalmed and preserved.