MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) – A giant squid weighing 350 kilograms (770 lbs) was inspected on September 16 by scientists in New Zealand.
“This is essentially an intact specimen, which is almost an unparalleled opportunity for us to examine… This is a spectacular opportunity”, said Kat Bolstad, a squid scientist from the Auckland University of Technology, as quoted by the Canadian Globe and Mail.
After the squid was caught in Antarctic waters last summer, it was brought to New Zealand and kept in a freezer in Te Papa museum, New Zealand Herald said. The colossal creature is as long as a minibus; it weighs 350 kg (770 lbs) and has eight arms, each over a meter (3.3 feet) long. The animal was so massive that it took hours to thaw it before the scientists could start examining some of its internal organs. The squid is a female and scientists believe that it was carrying eggs, reports Phys.org, a website that specializes in science and technology news.
Giant squids are rarely seen in daylight. “It was partly alive, it was still hanging onto the fish… Just a big bulk in the water. They are huge, and the mantle’s all filled with water. It’s quite an awesome sight”, said Captain John Bennett, whose crew caught the squid.
Scientists hope to find out more about these sea creatures, assess where they fit in the marine food chain and how many different variations exist among the various types of squids, said Susan Waugh, a senior curator at Te Papa. She further added that scientists hope to preserve the specimen for future public display.