Colossal Squid, The Biggest Squid in Wellington
April 5, 2009 2 Comments
During the few weeks of summer in 2007, Antarctica fisherman caught a colossal squid, the largest ever discovered. This provided the very first opportunity for scientists to study the oceans most elusive predator, by freezing the specimen until they can get to New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. Getting the Squid there is only part of the journey as they also have the massive task of de-frosting it correctly in order to be able to ultimately study the first in tact sample of a colossal squid! Join the team of specialists as they prepare to undertake the first scientific investigation ever of an adult colossal squid.
The 2007 female colossal squid is the most massive invertebrate ever discovered, weighing in at 495kg. It is 4.2 metres long and holds the record for the world’s largest eye measuring 27cm in diameter. The colossal squid was landed by the New Zealand fishing vessel, the San Aspiring, in the Ross Sea in 2007 and gifted to Te Papa by the Ministry of Fisheries. Stored for a year in a freezer in Te Papa’s Tory St facility, it was defrosted in April 2008 and examined by a team of international scientists, with marine biologist Dr Steve O’Shea (Director, Earth & Oceanic Sciences Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology and Colossal Squid expert), leading the way.
The only colossal squid exhibit in the world (www.tepapa.govt.nz/squid) is now open at Te Papa in Wellington. The 495 kilogramme, 4.2 metre female colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni), the most massive invertebrate ever examined, will be on display at Te Papa for three years. Admission to the exhibit is free.
Discovery Channel – SKY Digital Channel 70