Since I released an article about colossal squid before, it was very popular. I feel if I wanna get more information about The Colossal Squid in many websites. So, here they are..
|The crew of the New Zealand vessel San Aspiring worked to bring aboard the colossal squid they found in the Ross Sea. The squid was barely alive when it reached the surface and observers and crew thought it would be very unlikely to survive if released. |
CREDIT: Ministry of Fisheries, New Zealand.
How big is the
Measuring the colossal squidOnce the colossal squid specimen had completely thawed and been unfolded in the tank, the scientists were able to take measurements. Everyone seemed to want to know how big the colossal squid was.
The mantle length of the tank colossal squid was measured at 2.5 metres. This is similar to the mantle length of the 2003 specimen. However, the tank colossal weighs 495 kilogrammes, while the 2003 specimen weighed only 300 kilogrammes, but had a total length of 5.4 metres.
This suggests that colossal squid are incredibly plastic animals. In order to understand the full range of variation within the species, the scientists will need to examine many more specimens.
In addition to this natural variation, the dimensions of colossal squid obviously change considerably, depending on how the specimens are treated after they have died.
ShrinkageExperiments carried out by Te Papa staff using the commercial arrow squid (Nototodarus sloani (Gray)) showed that fresh specimens can shrink by up to 22 per cent when dehydrated using alcohol solutions. It is thought that the large colossal squid specimen dehydrated during the 14 months it spent in the freezer, causing it to shrink.
Beak sizeThe size of the beak of a squid is used as an indicator of the overall size of the animal. The measurement used is the lower rostral beak length, or LRL.
The LRL of the 495 kilogramme specimen was 42.5 millimetres. Beaks up to 49 millimetres have been found in sperm whale stomachs. Colossal squid must therefore reach much bigger sizes than the tank specimen! As the beak is made of hard, material (chitin - a polysaccharide), it is not subject to shrinkage like the other tissues.