Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook?

WELLINGTON (AFP) - - The biggest squid ever caught, at up to 10 metres long and boasting a fearsome beak and razor-sharp hooks, may be small compared to others still lurking in the depths, scientists said Tuesday.


It weighs 495 kilograms (1,090 pounds), has eyes the size of dinner plates and is estimated at up to 10 metres (33 feet) long.

But that may be relatively small, scientists say after initial examination, suggesting other colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) under the chilly Antarctic waters might grow much larger.

On a museum blog following the progress of the thaw, Chris Paulin -- who is projects manager at the museum, known as Te Papa Tongarewa, said Tuesday that the beak of the colossal squid has been exposed as the flesh defrosts.

The size of the lower beak -- used to chop prey into bite sized pieces -- is around 43 to 45 millimetres.

Colossal squid lower beaks previously found in the stomachs of sperm whales have been as long as 49 millimetres.

Extrapolating the relationship between the length of the beak and body size from another smaller specimen being examined suggests the species could grow much bigger, Paulin said.

"Can we assume that this species reaches three quarters of a tonne in weight?" he asked.

- Yahoo! Singapore News, Tuesday, April 29

This is incredible; this mighty 'devil fish', as Victor Hugo wrote, is but a small specimen! One can scarcely imagine the other monstrous wonders that lurk in the depths.

The ocean depths, hellish and distant, are our last frontier - where wonders innumerable await the next generation of brave explorers who choose to journey there. Let us hope we live to see the day that these amazing creatures are brought to light.

P.S.: Memoirs would like to wish all readers a very happy Easter; a special Paschal post is currently in the works and will be ready soon!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

A blessed and joyous Paschal season to you!

Wed Apr 30, 09:10:00 am 2008  

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