“Scientific Name: Architeuthis dux
Approx. Size: 33 ft. with tentacles, 330 lb. (male); 70 ft. with tentacles, 600 lb. (female)
The giant squid is one of nature’s most mysterious and misunderstood beasts. With related folklore dating back to the sixteenth century, most knowledge of this creature has been rooted in myth. This is due to the fact that no one had ever seen a giant squid alive in its natural habitat until September 2005, when footage of the squid was captured on video by Japanese researchers. Up until then, the giant squid’s realm, the dark waters located 3,300 feet below the ocean’s surface, revealed few clues. Even today, most information about the world’s largest invertebrate comes from dead specimens that have washed ashore or been mistakenly caught in fishing nets.
The giant squid is a cephalopod, a member of the mollusk class identified by its bilateral symmetry. It is a speedy carnivore, capturing prey with long tentacles covered with suction cups and ringed at the base with teeth, and then finishing with a bite from its sharp beak. A squid moves by a form of natural jet propulsion, squirting water from its mantle through its siphon, which then shoots it through the water. Although the relationship has been highly dramatized by humans, the only known natural enemy of the giant squid is the sperm whale.”—History File
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