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The Giant Squid! January 16, 2013

Posted by bsciencecenter in Science.
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Recently, a team of scientists from Japan were able to film the infamous Giant Squid in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.  These mysterious creatures have never been filmed in their natural habitat.  Giant squids live in the deepest part of the world’s oceans, which has made them difficult to study.  This recent breakthrough will help scientists to learn more about their natural behaviors and their habits as predators of the sea.

Giant squids are the largest invertebrate (animal without a backbone) on the entire Earth.  The largest squid ever recorded was 59 feet and weighed over a ton!

giant-squid_544_600x450

They have eight arms (up to 10 feet) and two longer feeding tentacles (up to 40 feet long) that helps them bring food to their beak-like mouths. Their diet likely consists of fish, shrimp, and other squid, and some suggest they might even attack and eat small whales.

squid4

They use external fins to help maneuver around in the water. They use a propulsion system to move around, drawing water into the mantle (main part of the body), and then forcing it out the back.

Giant squid have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom.  They can be as large as soccer balls and up to a foot in diameter.

squid-eye

Be sure to watch the Discovery Channel special “Monster Squid: The Giant is Real “ that will air Sunday, January 27th.

Be sure to visit the links below for more information about the giant squid.

PBS Special on the Giant Squid
http://video.pbs.org/video/2247683791/

How stuff works pages on squid body parts:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/marine-life/squid1.htm

All 5th grade students in Burlington have an opportunity to dissect a squid and learn invertebrate anatomy during their classification units.

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