Giant Squid Facts
- Firstly, the Giant Squid represents an extreme deep ocean dwelling variety of squid. It also forms a member of the Architeuthidae family. Further, it remains the second largest of all known species of squid. Only the Colossal Squid grows slightly larger.
- Secondly, this astounding animal achieves its enormous size through the principle of deep-sea gigantism. However, the exact reason for this principle still remains undetermined at this time.
- In simple terms, the deeper a species of invertebrate resides in the ocean, the larger it tends to be. That is, at least in relation to similar or related species found living at shallower depths.
- Due to the depths at which it reside, live specimens are rarely seen or encountered. Therefore, quality photos remain extremely rare.
Giant Squid Physical Description
Most notably, the incredible Glass Squid exhibits sexual dimorphism with respect to size. Firstly, the males rarely attain a length of more than 33 ft (10 m). Secondly, though, the maximum measured size in females remains almost 43 ft (13 m), from tentacle tip to tentacle tip.
Like all known forms of squid, the Giant Squid also possesses a mantle, eight arms, and two longer tentacles. Despite its great size, it does not weigh a great deal. The average weight for the females is about 606 lb (275 kg), and just over half that for males.
The mantle measures roughly 6.6 ft (2 m) in length, for the females. Each arm and tentacle also have a covering of hundreds of suction cups. The perimeter of each of these has a lining of rings of highly serrated chitin.
The Giant Squid also possesses a highly sophisticated nervous system and a complex brain structure.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Mollusca
- Class: Cephalopoda
- Order: Oegopsida
- Family: Architeuthidae
- Genus: Architeuthis
- Species: A. dux
Giant Squid Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The above photo has a very poor quality, but it was the first photo ever taken of a living Giant Squid, back in 2010. This amazing creature also appears to exist in every ocean on earth. It lives at great depths, rarely less than 1,000 ft (305 m).
The species feed on a wide variety of deep-sea fish, as well as other types of squid. It captures its prey with the two longer tentacles and then brings the hapless victim to the large, powerful beak.
Yet, little definitive evidence exists pertaining to its hunting habits, however. Experts theorize that it hunts singly, given that those accidentally ensnared by deep-sea fishing nets always occur alone.
Additionally, the only known predator of an adult Giant Squid remains the sperm whale. But, larger sharks may feed on juvenile specimens, however.