A squid is one of the animals of the ocean belonging to the class marine cephalopods and the order Teuthida. There are three hundred species of squids. A squid has a pair of tentacles and four pairs of arms like a cuttlefish. Like the other members of the cephalopods, these creatures do not survive in freshwater bodies and are found in all the oceans of the world.
Quick Facts About the Giant Squid
- The scientific name of giant squid is "Architeuthis dux". They are found in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Northern Pacific ocean, Sea of Japan, Bering Sea, and in the Southern Ocean.
- It is the largest invertebrate on Earth. The length of a giant squid is 60 feet long. It weighs around 900 kg.
- Its eyes are almost the size of basketballs―a feature it shares with its cousin, the colossal squid. An eye of a giant squid measures around 25 centimeters in diameter. Its big eyes help it to search for food, in the deepest part of the ocean.
- Like the members of the other squid species, have four pairs of arms and a pair of tentacles. These organs help them to hunt for food. Its mouth is like the beak of a parrot.
- A giant squid nourishes on small fish, shrimp, and smaller species of squids. Some marine biologists opine that it may be able to eat small whales too.
- The giant squid has fins that help it to swim and maneuver its way in the ocean. Sometimes, it uses its funnel to draw water into the mantle, and also, to force it out of its mantle. This process is known as propulsion. This system helps in movement.
- Their habitat is in the "epipelagic" and "mesopelagic" zones (deepest zones) of the ocean. A group of giant squids is known as a school.
Giant Squid Interesting Facts
- The giant squid's lifespan is quite short; they live for a maximum of three years, and die after spawning.
- Another interesting fact is that the female giant squid, is larger in size than the male.
- The male giant squid's reproductive system matures fully, even if it is small in size. At the time of mating, the male injects the sperms into the ventral arms of the female. The female stores the sperm, until spawning.
- The largest specimen of the giant squid was found in New Zealand in the year 1880.
- Marine biologists believe that giant squids have only one natural enemy - the sperm whale.
Many of the facts about still remain a mystery to the scientists. The habitat of the giant squid makes it almost impossible for the scientists to study them. The facts that were revealed are the ones which scientists put forward, after researching on the carcasses washed up on the beaches. It was only in 2004 that a photo of a live giant squid was clicked by scientists who were researching in Japan.