Japan: giant squid found alive and locked up in aquarium



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Japan: giant squid found alive and locked up in aquarium

A three-meter giant squid ran aground alive on a beach in Japan alive. According to a Japanese newspaper, the squid was found alive despite being a long way from home, and was transported to a local aquarium in the nearby town of Sakai.

Incredible videos of these creatures were recorded last year. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2019 captured footage of a 3- to 4-meter large squid. The largest squid ever recorded by scientists measured nearly 13 meters.

Giant squid, once believed to be mythical creatures, are squid of the Architeuthidae family, consisting of about eight species of the Architeuthis genus.

However, research conducted in 2005 would have shown that in reality they are all part of a single species. They are inhabitants of the oceanic depths that can reach considerable dimensions: we speak of maximum dimensions of 13 meters for females and 18 meters for males, from the caudal fin to the extremity of the two long tentacles.

The mantle, excluding the tentacles of about 5 meters, is about 2 meters long. Urban legends spoke of specimens over 25 meters long, but no animal of this size has been scientifically documented, mainly due to the abyssal depths in which they live.

On September 30, 2004, researchers from the National Science Museum of Japan and the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association captured the first images of a live giant squid in its natural environment. Some of the 556 photographs were published a year later.

Later, on December 4, 2006, the same team first filmed a live giant squid. The giant squid is the second largest mollusk, as well as being the second largest animal among all current invertebrates. In size it is surpassed only by the colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, which can have a coat almost twice as long as its own.

Some extinct cephalopods, such as the Cretaceous vampiromorph Tusoteuthis and the Ordovician nautyloid Cameroceras, could reach even larger sizes. The rumors that speak of specimens that reached and even exceeded 18 m are numerous, but the case of specimens approaching this size has never been documented.

However, from the remains found in the stomachs of sperm whales it is possible to hypothesize lengths equal to those mentioned above. On the basis of the examination of 105 specimens and the beaks found inside the sperm whales, no coats longer than 2.25 m are known.

Including the head and arms, but excluding the tentacles, the length rarely exceeds 5 m. The maximum total length, measured in the post-mortem relaxed state, is estimated at 10 m for females and 13 m for males, from the caudal fin to the extremity of the two long tentacles. The maximum weight is estimated at 150 kg for females and 275 kg for males.