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Encyclopedia > Colossal Squid
Colossal Squid
A drawing of a Colossal Squid.
A drawing of a Colossal Squid.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Teuthida
Family: Cranchiidae
Subfamily: Taoniinae
Genus: Mesonychoteuthis
Robson, 1925
Species: M. hamiltoni
Binomial name
Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni
Robson, 1925

The Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, from Greek mesos (middle), onychos (claw), and teuthis (squid)), sometimes called the Antarctic or Giant Cranch Squid, is believed to be the largest squid species. It is the only known member of the genus Mesonychoteuthis. Though it is known from only a few specimens, current estimates put its average size at 12–14 metres (39–46 feet) long, based on analysis of smaller and immature specimens, making it the largest known invertebrate. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (619x715, 167 KB)Colossal Squid caught by Soviet trawler in 1981. ... Scientific classification redirects here. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Classes Caudofoveata Aplacophora Polyplacophora - Chitons Monoplacophora Bivalvia - Bivalves Scaphopoda - Tusk shells Gastropoda - Snails and Slugs Cephalopoda - Squids, Octopuses, etc. ... Orders Subclass Nautiloidea †Plectronocerida †Ellesmerocerida †Actinocerida †Pseudorthocerida †Endocerida †Tarphycerida †Oncocerida †Discosorida Nautilida †Orthocerida †Ascocerida †Bactritida Subclass †Ammonoidea †Goniatitida †Ceratitida †Ammonitida Subclass Coleoidea †Belemnoidea †Aulacocerida †Belemnitida †Hematitida †Phragmoteuthida Neocoleoidea (most living cephalopods) ?†Boletzkyida Sepiida Sepiolida Spirulida Teuthida Octopoda Vampyromorphida The cephalopods (Greek plural (kephalópoda); head-foot) are the mollusc class... Suborders Myopsina Oegopsina Squids are the large, diverse group of marine mollusks, popular as food in cuisines as widely separated as the Japanese and the Italian. ... Genera about 15, see text The family Cranchiidae comprises the approximately 60 species of glass squids, also known as cranchiid or cranch squids. ... Genera Bathothauma Belonella Egea Galiteuthis Helicocranchia Liguriella Megalocranchia Mesonychoteuthis Sandalops Taonius Teuthowenia Taoniinae is a subfamily containing eleven genera of glass squids. ... Guy Coburn Robson (1888 - 1945) was a British zoologist, specialising in Mollusca. ... Latin name redirects here. ... Guy Coburn Robson (1888 - 1945) was a British zoologist, specialising in Mollusca. ... The giant squid (Architeuthis sp. ... For other uses, see Squid (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Genus (disambiguation). ... Invertebrate is an English word that describes any animal without a spinal column. ...

Contents

Anatomy and morphology

Unlike the giant squid, whose arms and tentacles only have suckers lined with small teeth, the Colossal Squid's arms and tentacles are also equipped with sharp hooks: some swiveling, others three-pointed.[1] Its body is wider and stouter, and therefore heavier, than that of the giant squid. Colossal Squids are believed to have a longer mantle than giant squids, although their tentacles are shorter. This article is about the animal. ... Tentacles can refer to the elongated flexible organs that are present in some animals, especially invertebrates, and sometimes to the hairs of the leaves of some insectivorous plants. ... The mantle is an organ found in mollusks. ...


The squid exhibits deep-sea gigantism. The beak of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni is the largest known of any squid, exceeding that of Architeuthis (giant squid) in size and robustness. The Colossal Squid is also believed to have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom.[2] A Giant isopod (Bathynomus giganteus) In zoology, deep-sea gigantism, also known as abyssal gigantism, is the tendency for species of crustaceans, invertebrates and other deep-sea dwelling animals to display a larger size than their shallow-water counterparts. ... Species Architeuthis dux Architeuthis hartingii Architeuthis japonica Architeuthis kirkii Architeuthis martensi Architeuthis physeteris Architeuthis sanctipauli Architeuthis stockii Giant squid are marine mollusks of the class Cephalopoda, represented by the eight species of the genus Architeuthis. ...


Distribution

The squid's known range extends thousands of miles northward from Antarctica to southern South America, southern South Africa, and the southern tip of New Zealand, making it primarily an inhabitant of the entire circumantarctic Southern Ocean. South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ...


Ecology and life history

While little is known about the life of this creature, it is believed to hunt prey such as chaetognatha, large fish like the Patagonian toothfish and other squid in the deep ocean using bioluminescence. Based on capture depths of a few specimens, as well as beaks found in sperm whale stomachs, the adult squid ranges at least to a depth of 2200 metres, while juveniles can go as deep as 1000 metres. It is believed to be sexually dimorphic, with mature females generally being much larger than mature males, as is common in many species of invertebrates. This article is about the hunting of prey by human society. ... Classes Archisagittoidea Sagittoidea Chaetognatha is a phylum of predatory marine worms that are a major component of plankton worldwide. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Dissostichus eleginoides Smitt, 1898 The Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) is a large fish found in the cold, temperate waters (from 50 to 3850m) of the Southern Atlantic, Southern Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans on seamounts and continental shelves around most sub-Antarctic islands. ... For other uses, see Squid (disambiguation). ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism as the result of a chemical reaction during which chemical energy is converted to light energy. ... Female (left) and male Common Pheasant, illustrating the dramatic difference in form between the sexes Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between individuals of different sex in the same species. ... Invertebrate is a term coined by Chevalier de Lamarck to describe any animal without a backbone or vertebra, like insects, squids and worms. ...


The squid's method of reproduction has not been observed, although some data on their reproduction can be inferred from anatomy. Since males lack an organ called a hectocotylus (a tentacle used in other cephalopods to transfer a spermatophore to the female), they probably use a penis instead, which would be used to directly implant sperm into females. A hectocotylus is one of the arms of the male of most kinds of cephalopods that is modified in various ways to effect the fertilization of the females eggs. ... Orders Subclass Nautiloidea †Plectronocerida †Ellesmerocerida †Actinocerida †Pseudorthocerida †Endocerida †Tarphycerida †Oncocerida †Discosorida Nautilida †Orthocerida †Ascocerida †Bactritida Subclass †Ammonoidea †Goniatitida †Ceratitida †Ammonitida Subclass Coleoidea †Belemnoidea †Aulacocerida †Belemnitida †Hematitida †Phragmoteuthida Neocoleoidea (most living cephalopods) ?†Boletzkyida Sepiida Sepiolida Spirulida Teuthida Octopoda Vampyromorphida The cephalopods (Greek plural (kephalópoda); head-foot) are the mollusc class... A spermatophore is a capsule or mass created by males of various invertebrate species, containing spermatozoa and transferred in entirety to the female during sex. ... The penis (plural penises, penes) is an external male sexual organ. ...


Many sperm whales carry scars on their backs believed to be caused by the hooks of Colossal Squid. Colossal Squid are a major prey item for Antarctic sperm whales feeding in the Southern Ocean; 14% of the squid beaks found in the stomachs of these sperm whales are those of the Colossal Squid, which indicates that Colossal Squid make up 77% of the biomass consumed by these whales.[3] Many other animals also feed on this squid, including the beaked whales (such as the bottlenose whales), pilot whale, southern elephant seal, Patagonian toothfish, Pacific sleeper shark, and albatross (e.g., the Wandering and Sooty albatrosses). However, beaks from mature adults have only been recovered from those animals large enough to take such prey (i.e., the sperm whale and Pacific sleeper shark), while the remaining predators are limited to eating juveniles or young adults.[4] Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Sperm whale range (in blue) The sperm whale (Physeter catodon) is the largest of all toothed whales, making them the Earths largest living carnivore and largest living toothed animal. ... Genera Berardius Hyperoodon Indopacetus Mesoplodon Tasmacetus Ziphius A beaked whale is any of at least 20 species of small whale in the family Ziphiidae. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Binomial name Globicephala macrorhynchus Gray, 1846 Short-finned Pilot Whale range Globicephala melas Traill, 1809 Long-finned Pilot Whale range Calderón redirects here. ... Binomial name Mirounga leonina Linnaeus, 1758 The Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina) is one of two species of elephant seal (the other is the Northern Elephant Seal). ... Binomial name Dissostichus eleginoides Smitt, 1898 The Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) is a large fish found in the cold, temperate waters (from 50 to 3850m) of the Southern Atlantic, Southern Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans on seamounts and continental shelves around most sub-Antarctic islands. ... Binomial name Somniosus pacificus Bigelow & Schroeder, 1944 The Pacific sleeper shark, Somniosus pacificus, is a sleeper shark of the family Dalatiidae, found circumglobally on continental shelves and slopes in temperate waters between latitudes 70° N and 47° S, from the surface to 2,000 m. ... This article is about the bird family. ... Binomial name Diomedea exulans Linnaeus, 1758 The Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans), is a large seabird from the family Diomedeidae which has a circumpolar range in the Southern Ocean. ... Species (Hilsenberg, 1822) (Forster, 1785) The sooty albatrosses or sooties are small albatrosses from the genus Phoebetria. ... Binomial name Somniosus pacificus Bigelow & Schroeder, 1944 The Pacific sleeper shark, Somniosus pacificus, is a sleeper shark of the family Dalatiidae, found circumglobally on continental shelves and slopes in temperate waters between latitudes 70° N and 47° S, from the surface to 2,000 m. ...


Timeline

Complete specimen caught in 2003.
  • 1925 – Species was first discovered in the form of two tentacles found in the stomach of a sperm whale.[5]
  • 1981 – A Russian trawler in the Ross Sea, off the coast of Antarctica, caught a large squid with a total length of 4 metres (13 feet), which was later identified as an immature female of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni.[6]
  • 2003 – A complete specimen of a subadult female (photo at right) was found near the surface with a total length of 6 m (20 ft) and a mantle length of 2.5 m (8 ft).[7]
  • 2005 – A specimen was captured at a depth of 1625 m while taking a toothfish from a longline off South Georgia Island. Although the mantle was not brought aboard, the mantle length was estimated at over 2.5 m, and the tentacles measured 230 cm. The animal is thought to have weighed between 150 and 200 kg.[8]
  • 2007 – The largest ever specimen, measuring 10 m (33 ft) in length, was captured by a New Zealand fishing boat off Antarctica. It was initially estimated to weigh 450 kg (992 lb). The squid was taken back to New Zealand for scientific study.[9] A study on the specimen later showed that its actual weight was 495 kg (1,091 lb). Scientists at New Zealand's national museum, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa), were at one time considering using an industrial microwave oven to defrost the animal[10] but have since opted for the more conventional approach of thawing the squid in a bath of salt water.[11]

This list of Colossal Squid specimens and sightings is a comprehensive listing of all recorded specimens of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, popularly known as the Colossal Squid. ... Image File history File links Mesonychoteuthis_hamiltoni_2003. ... Image File history File links Mesonychoteuthis_hamiltoni_2003. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Sperm whale range (in blue) The sperm whale (Physeter catodon) is the largest of all toothed whales, making them the Earths largest living carnivore and largest living toothed animal. ... Map of Antarctica (click to enlarge) Ice in the Ross Sea, Antarctica The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land. ... Binomial name Dissostichus eleginoides Smitt, 1898 The Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) is a large fish found in the cold, temperate waters (from 50 to 3850m) of the Southern Atlantic, Southern Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans on seamounts and continental shelves around most sub-Antarctic islands. ... Long-line fishing is a commercial fishing technique that uses hundreds or even thousands of baited hooks hanging from a single line. ... South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, also claimed by Argentina. ... Te Papa (Our Place), The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum of New Zealand. ...

Largest known specimen

See also: Cephalopod size
This specimen, caught in early 2007, is the largest cephalopod ever recorded.

On February 22, 2007, it was announced by authorities in New Zealand that the largest known Colossal Squid had been captured. The specimen measured 4.2 metres in length and weighed 495 kg (1,091 lb). Fishermen on the vessel San Aspiring, owned by the Sanford seafood company, caught the animal in the freezing Antarctic waters of the Ross Sea. It was brought to the surface as it fed on an Antarctic toothfish that had been caught off a long line. It would not let go of its prey and could not be removed from the line by the fishermen, so they decided to catch it instead. They managed to envelop it in a net, hauled it aboard and froze it. The specimen eclipsed the previous largest find in 2003 by about 195 kilograms (430 lb).[12][13] The 4.2 metre squid is still considerably shorter than some estimates have predicted. The specimen was frozen in a cubic metre of water and transported to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand's national museum.[10][14] Scientists at the museum were considering using a giant microwave to defrost the squid because defrosting the squid at room temperatures would take days and it would be likely for the outside to rot while the core remains frozen.[15] However, they later opted for the more conventional approach of thawing the squid in a bath of salt water.[11][16] Although initially thought to be a male, dissection of the specimen showed it to be a female.[17] The giant squid (Architeuthis sp. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 53rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Map of Antarctica (click to enlarge) Ice in the Ross Sea, Antarctica The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land. ... Binomial name Dissostichus mawsoni Norman, 1937 The Antarctic Cod, fish of the Nototheniidae family that includes Mawsons cod (Dissostichus mawsoni), is famous for producing antifreeze protein that allows it to hide just under the Antarctic ice. ... Long-line fishing is a commercial fishing technique that uses hundreds or even thousands of baited hooks hanging from a single line. ... Te Papa (Our Place), The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum of New Zealand. ...


Defrosting and dissection, April-May 2008

Thawing and dissection of the specimen took place at the Te Papa museum[11] under the direction of technician Mark Fenwick, Dutch marine biologist and toxicologist Olaf Blaauw, AUT biologist Dr Steve O'Shea, Dr Tsunemi Kubodera, and AUT biologist Kat Bolstad. Te Papa (Our Place), The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum of New Zealand. ... Tsunemi Kubodera is a Japanese zoologist with the National Science Museum of Japan. ...


Parts of the specimen have been examined:

  • The beak is considerably smaller than some found in the stomachs of sperm whales,[18][19] suggesting there are Colossal Squid much larger than this one.[18][19]
  • The eye is 27 cm (10.63 in) wide, with a lens 12 cm across. This is the largest eye of any known animal.[2] These measurements are of the partly collapsed specimen: when living the eye was probably 30[17] to 40 cm (12 to 16 in) across.[20]
  • Dissection of the specimen revealed ovaries containing thousands of eggs.[17]

// For ovary as part of plants see ovary (plants) An ovary is an egg-producing reproductive organ found in female organisms. ...

References

  1. ^ Te Papa: Hooks and Suckers
  2. ^ a b Scientists focus on colossal squid's eyes Radio New Zealand.
  3. ^ Clarke, M.R. (1980). "Cephalopoda in the diet of sperm whales of the southern hemisphere and their bearing on sperm whale biology". Discovery Reports 37: 1-324.
  4. ^ Cherel, Y. & G. Duhamel 2004. Antarctic jaws: cephalopod prey of sharks in Kerguelen waters.PDF (531 KiB) Deep-Sea Res I 51: 17-31.
  5. ^ Robson, G.C. 1925. On Mesonychoteuthis, a new genus of oegopsid, Cephalopoda. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 9, 16: 272–277.
  6. ^ Ellis, R. 1998. The Search for the Giant Squid. The Lyons Press.
  7. ^ Kim Griggs "Super squid surfaces in Antarctic". BBC News, April 2, 2003.
  8. ^ "Very Rare Giant Squid Caught Alive" South Georgia Newsletter
  9. ^ "NZ fishermen pull monster squid from Antarctic deep", BBC
  10. ^ a b "Colossal squid may be headed for the oven in New Zealand", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), March 22, 2007.
  11. ^ a b c Te Papa's Specimen: The Thawing and Examination
  12. ^ "NZ's colossal squid to be microwaved" The New Zealand Herald
  13. ^ New giant squid predator found. Retrieved on 14 February, 2007.
  14. ^ Kim Griggs, "Colossal squid's headache for science", BBC News, March 15, 2007.
  15. ^ Record Giant Squid Put on Ice
  16. ^ Richard Black "Colossal squid out of the freezer". BBC News, April 26, 2008.
  17. ^ a b c Richard Black "Colossal squid's big eye revealed". BBC News, April 30, 2008.
  18. ^ a b Thawing colossal squid continues to reveal information Radio New Zealand.
  19. ^ a b Massive squid may be just a babe The Star, South Africa.
  20. ^ World's biggest squid reveals 'beach ball' eyes AFP, via Google.

“PDF” redirects here. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to... is the 92nd day of the year (93rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further reading

  • (Russian) Klumov, S.K. & V.L. Yukhov 1975. Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni Robson, 1925 (Cephalopoda, Oegopsida). Antarktika Doklady Komission 14: 159–189. [English translation: TT 81-59176, Al Ahram Center for Scientific Translations]
  • McSweeny, E.S. 1970. Description of the juvenile form of the Antarctic squid Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni Robson. Malacologia 10: 323–332.
  • Rodhouse, P.G. & M.R. Clarke 1985. Growth and distribution of young Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni Robson (Mollusca: Cephalopoda): an Antarctic squid. Vie Milieu 35(3–4): 223–230.

External links

Wikispecies has information related to:
Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni
  • CephBase: Colossal Squid
  • Tree of Life web project: Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) Colossal Squid Specimen Information
  • TONMO.com: Giant Squid and Colossal Squid Fact Sheet
  • New Zealand Herald: Fishermen haul in world's biggest squid
  • National Geographic News: Colossal Squid Caught off Antarctica
  • National Geographic News: Colossal Squid Revealed in First In-Depth Look
  • USA Today: Colossal Squid Caught in Antarctic Waters
  • BBC: Super squid surfaces in Antarctic
  • MarineBio: Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni
Image File history File links Wikispecies-logo. ... Wikispecies is a wiki-based online project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation that aims to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species (including animalia, plantae, fungi, bacteria, archaea, and protista). ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Huge squid hauled from deep - The Boston Globe (397 words)
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.
Colossal squid can descend to 6,500 feet and are extremely active, aggressive hunters, he said.
Colossal squid are found in Antarctic waters and are different than giant squid found near the coast of New Zealand.
Colossal squid (176 words)
The Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) is the largest known type of squid.
Unlike the giant squid whose tentacles are equipped with suckers lined with small teeth, the tentacles of the colossal squid are tipped with a vicious looking mixture of suckers and swivelling hooks.
The captured specimen is an immature female, leading to speculation that when fully grown the colossal squid may have a body length of 4 metres and total length of around 12 metres making it truly deserving of its name.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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