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  #1  
Old 04-29-2008, 07:36 AM
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Lifetime of calamari

New Zealand scientists thaw 1,000-pound squid corpse
By RAY LILLEY, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 13 minutes ago

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Marine scientists in New Zealand on Tuesday were thawing the corpse of the largest squid ever caught to try to unlock the secrets of one of the ocean's most mysterious beasts.

No one has ever seen a living, grown colossal squid in its natural deep ocean habitat, and scientists hope their examination of the 1,089-pound, 26-foot long colossal squid, set to begin Wednesday, will help determine how the creatures live. The thawing and examination are being broadcast live on the Internet.

The squid, which was caught accidentally by fishermen last year, was removed from its freezer Monday and put into a tank filled with saline solution. Ice was added to the tank Tuesday to slow the thawing process so the outer flesh wouldn't rot, said Carol Diebel, director of natural environment at New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa.

After it is thawed, scientists will examine the squid's anatomical features, remove the stomach, beak and other mouth parts, take tissue samples for DNA analysis and determine its sex, Diebel said.

"If we get ourselves a male it will be the first reported (scientific) description of the male of the species," Steve O'Shea, a squid expert at Auckland's University of Technology, told National Radio. He is one of the scientists conducting the examination.

The squid is believed to be the largest specimen of the rare deep-water species Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, or colossal squid, ever caught, O'Shea has said.

Colossal squid, which have long been one of the most mysterious denizens of the deep ocean, can grow up to 46 feet long, descend to 6,500 feet into the ocean and are considered aggressive hunters.

At the time it was caught, O'Shea said it would make calamari rings the size of tractor tires if cut up but they would taste like ammonia, a compound found in the animals' flesh.

Fishermen off the coast of Antarctica accidentally netted the squid in February 2007 while catching Patagonian toothfish, which are sold under the name Chilean sea bass.

The squid was eating a hooked toothfish when it was hauled from the deep. Recognizing it as a rare find, the fishermen froze the squid on their vessel to preserve it. The national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, later took possession of it.

The previous largest colossal squid ever found was a 660 pound female squid discovered in 2003, the first ever landed.

Researchers plan to eventually put the squid on display in a 1,800 gallon tank of formaldehyde at the museum in the capital, Wellington.

Colossal squid are found in Antarctic waters and are not related to giant squid found round the coast of New Zealand. Giant squid grow up to 39 feet long, and are not as heavy as colossal squid.

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20080429/capt.c61ba319db9f403da7ed88c0e56a9098.new_zealand_colossal_squid_nzl803.jpg?x=400&y=289&sig=UUYMKYcA38VipuBgI38fYg--

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Old 04-29-2008, 07:45 AM
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Damn that's a lot of calamari. The "rings" would be the size of hula hoops. Probably a tad on the chewy side, though.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:49 AM
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daaaamn. . . thats-a big squid. . .
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Fishermen off the coast of Antarctica accidentally netted the squid in February 2007 while catching Patagonian toothfish, which are sold under the name Chilean sea bass.
That's an interesting tidbit that I did not know. Patagonian toothfish doesn't exactly have an appetizing ring to it.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:53 AM
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Let me see, that's about 4000 servings, breaded and fried. I'd need 62.5 gallons of cocktail sauce, or roughly ten-eleven cases of cocktail sauce.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
That's an interesting tidbit that I did not know. Patagonian toothfish doesn't exactly have an appetizing ring to it.
Yeah. I always thought that about Bone Fish. Do people eat those? Catching them is supposed to be challenging, I think, but I've never heard anything about people eating them.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuan View Post
Let me see, that's about 4000 servings, breaded and fried. I'd need 62.5 gallons of cocktail sauce, or roughly ten-eleven cases of cocktail sauce.
Can I have the oil when you are done?
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:26 PM
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Someone needs to find a giant lemon.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:22 AM
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Keeping an eye on the squid

Study: Giant squid has biggest animal eyes in world

By RAY LILLEY 3 hours ago

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Marine scientists studying the carcass of a rare colossal squid said Wednesday they had measured its eye at about 11 inches across bigger than a dinner plate making it the largest animal eye on Earth.

One of the squid's two eyes, with a lens as big as an orange, was found intact as the scientists examined the creature while it was slowly defrosted at New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa. It has been preserved there since being caught in the Ross Sea off Antarctica's northern coast last year.

"This is the only intact eye (of a colossal squid) that's ever been found. It's spectacular," said Auckland University of Technology squid specialist Kat Bolstad, one of a team of international scientists brought in to examine the creature.

"It's the largest known eye in the animal kingdom," Bolstad told The Associated Press.

The squid is the biggest specimen ever caught of the rare and mysterious deep-water species Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, or colossal squid. When caught, it measured 26 feet long and weighed about 1,000 pounds, but scientists believe the species may grow as long as 46 feet.

"This is the largest eye ever recorded in history and studied," said Swedish Professor Eric Warrant of the University of Lund, who specializes in vision in invertebrates. "It has a huge lens the size of an orange and captures an awful lot of light in the dark depths in which it hunts."

The squids can descend to 6,500 feet and are known to be aggressive hunters.


Photos: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iNrXD-aFDkco1HdoBQ0KaO5CenngD90C4LV00

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