Architeuthis dux - architeuthis dux
The Grant Museum’s current exhibition – The Museum of Ordinary Animals : The Boring Beasts that Changed the World - explores the mundane creatures in our everyday lives. Here on the blog, we will be delving into some of the stories featured in the exhibition with the UCL researchers who helped put it together.
"One night during World War II a British Admiralty trawler was lying off the Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean. One of the crew, . Starkey, was up on deck, alone, late at night fishing, when he saw something in the water. 'As I gazed, fascinated, a circle of green light glowed in my area of illumination. This green unwinking orb I suddenly realized was an eye. The surface of the water undulated with some strange disturbance. Gradually I realized that I was gazing at almost point-blank range at a huge squid.' Starkey walked the length of the ship finding the tail at one end and the tentacles at the other. The ship was over one hundred and seventy five feet long." - The Museum of UnNatural Mystery
The world’s largest true carnivore is the Polar Bear ( Ursus maritimus ): males typically weigh up to 600kg, but weights in excess of 900kg have been recorded.
The genus Architeuthis has a cosmopolitan (Okutani, 2015) or bi-subtropical distribution (Nesis, 2003). The following abbreviations for oceanic sectors are used in the main table. The Atlantic Ocean is divided into sectors at the equator and 30°W, the Pacific Ocean is divided at the equator and 180°, and the Indian Ocean is defined as the range 20°E – 115°E.
“I was amazed,” says Brigitte Schoenemann from the University of Cologne. “We can even calculate how many photons they would have captured.”
All squid have sharp horny beaks made of material similar to human fingernails. The colossal squid has the largest beak of any squid, including the giant squid. The tips of the colossal squid’s tentacles (the clubs) are armed with two unusual rows of sharp, swivelling hooks, and two rows of tiny suckers. Other squid species also have tentacle hooks. The beak and the hooks are lethal weapons for catching and holding large fish like the toothfish.
Scientists don't know enough about these beasts to say for sure what their range is, but giant squid carcasses have been found in all of the world's oceans.
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