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The world’s largest mollusc

This is the colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni.

  • It’s also the largest invertebrate on Earth. And not only that, it is also the animal with the largest eyes, as they can measure up to 27 cm in diameter.

  • It lives at a depth of 1000-2000 m in the cold waters of the Antarctic, New Zealand and some areas of Africa. Because of this, it is very difficult to study live specimens, so forensic investigations are chosen.

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Distribution of the colossal squid. Wikipedia
  • According to estimations, their weight would be around 750 kg and they would be 12-14 m long. Much of its length would be given by its long tentacles.

  • Although legends tell that this animal is a wild beast, often associated with the mythological Kraken, research by various biologists suggests that it is a quiet giant with slow movements.

  • The only known predator is the sperm whale, but it doesn’t make it easy for him either. Many of these cetaceans have painful marks on their bodies produced by the suction cups of the squid’s tentacles.

  • This species was first identified in 1925 when it was found in the stomach of a dead sperm whale. In 2007 the largest specimen to date was caught in New Zealand… It weighed almost 1100 kg!

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Photograph of a colossal squid specimen. New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries
  • Being such a little known species it is often confused with the giant squid.

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Comparison between colossal squid and giant squid. Personal archive

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