Gone But Not Forgotten
- May 19, 2004
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Japanese scientists herald live giant squid footage
Japanese scientists have released what they say could be the first live video footage of the elusive giant squid, exposing some of the creature's underwater secrets.
Scientists of the National Science Museum said they succeeded in catching a deep-sea giant squid at a depth of 640 meters (2,112 feet) on December 6 in the North Pacific Ocean, some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of Tokyo.
"As the video movie shows, the giant squid struggled furiously to escape the catch by spouting water from its funnel. This means they can actually swim pretty fast, in addition to their normal movement just drifting in deep waters," said Tsunemi Kubodera, head of the research team, as he showed the video to reporters Friday.
"Probably this is the first-ever video of a live giant squid, although I have not confirmed it yet," Kubodera said.
The squid was 3.5 meters (11.55 feet) long, with a head stretching 1.4 meters, and weighed 50 kilogram (110 pounds), he said.
Kubodera said he started rolling a camera just before another member of the team caught the giant squid with a long-rope trap.
Scientists said the capture at a depth of 640 meters suggested an enormous number of squid lived at great depths.
"Squid, including giant squid, are the main food for sperm whales. And one sperm whale has to eat at least 500 kilograms of squid everyday," said Kubodera.
"About 200,000 sperm whales are thought to live in the western half of the Pacific, so you can see how many squid there should be in deep waters," he said.
Scientists would study the remains of the squid's stomach in the coming months, he added.
Times Online December 22, 2006
A giant squid attacking a bait squid is being pulled up by a research team off the Ogasawara Islands, south of Tokyo (Tsunemi Kubodera/AP)
Giant squid captured live on camera for first time
Times Online and agencies
Pictures: creatures of the deep
A Japanese research team that succeeded in filming a live giant squid for the first time said that the elusive creatures could be more plentiful than previously thought.
The team videotaped the giant creature off the Ogasawara Islands south of Tokyo, this month. The squid, which measured about seven meters (24ft) long, died while it was being caught.
"We believe this is the first time anyone has successfully filmed a giant squid that was alive," said Tsunemi Kubodera, a researcher with Japan’s National Science Museum.
"Now that we know where to find them, we think we can be more successful at studying them in the future."
The captured squid was caught using a smaller type of squid as bait, and pulled into a research vessel "after putting up quite a fight," Mr Kubodera said.
"It took two people to pull it in, and they lost it once, which might have caused the injuries that killed it," he added.
He said the invertebrate, a female, was not fully grown and was relatively small, by giant squid standards. "The longest one on record is 18 meters (60ft)."
Mr Kubodera and his team found the squid on December 4 off the remote island of Chichijima, which is about 960 kilometres (600 miles) southeast of Tokyo.
They had been conducting expeditions in the area for about three years before they succeeded in making their first contact two years ago.
Last year, the team succeeded in taking a series of still photos of one of the animals in its natural habitat, also believed to have been a first.
Giant squid, formally called Architeuthis, are the world’s largest invertebrates. Because they live in the depths of the ocean, they have long been wrapped in mystery and embellished in the folklore of sea monsters, appearing in ancient Greek myths or attacking the submarine in Jules Verne’s "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."
Until the successes of Mr Kubodera and his team, most scientific studies of the creatures had to rely on partial specimens that had washed ashore dead or dying or had been found in the digestive systems of whales or very large sharks.
Mr Kubodera said whales led his team to the squid. By finding an area where whales fed, he believed he could find the animals. "Giant squid are a major source of food for sperm whales," he said.
He also said that, judging by the number of whales that feed on them, there may be many more giant squid than previously thought.
"Sperm whales need from 500kg to 1,000kg (1,100lb-2,200lb) of food every day," he said. "There are believed to be 200,000 or so of them, and that would suggest there are quite a few squid for them to be feeding on.
"I don’t think they are in danger of extinction at all."
Having filmed the squid, Mr Kubodera said his next goal is to further study the creatures’ habits in their natural surroundings, at a depth of around 650 meters (2,100ft). But he said he is not planning to try to capture one live.
"It is possible, if you were to go out very well prepared with a large ship and a large tank," he said. "But we don’t have that kind of funding."
Copyright 2006 Times Newspapers Ltd.
Enormous deep-sea squid emit blinding flashes of light as they attack their prey, research shows.
Taningia danae's spectacular light show was revealed in video footage taken in deep waters off Chichijima Island in the North Pacific.
Japanese scientists believe the creatures use the bright flashes to disorientate potential victims.
Writing in a Royal Society journal, they say the squid are far from the sluggish, inactive beasts once thought.
In fact, the footage, taken in 2005 - the first time T. danae had been captured on camera in their natural environment - reveals them to be aggressive predators.
The squid, which can measure over 2m (7ft) in length, deftly swim backwards and forwards by flapping their large, muscular fins. They are able to alter their direction rapidly by bending their flexible bodies.
The films, taken at depths of 240m to 940m (790 to 3,080ft), also show the cephalopods reaching speeds of up to 2.5m (8ft) per second as they attack the bait, capturing it with their eight tentacles.
However, the intense pulses of light that accompanied the ferocious attacks surprised the research team.
Dr Tsunemi Kubodera from the National Science Museum in Tokyo, who led the research, told the BBC News website: "No-one had ever seen such bioluminescence behaviour during hunting of deep-sea large squid."
The footage reveals the creatures emitting short flashes from light-producing organs, called photophores, on their arms.
Writing in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team said: "[The bioluminescence] might act as a blinding flash for prey."
The light would disorientate the squid's intended prey, disrupting their defences, they added.
It could also act, the scientists commented, "as a means of illumination and measuring target distance in an otherwise dark environment."
However, further investigation revealed the light bursts may also serve another, quite different, purpose away from the hunting field - courtship.
As the squid drifted around torches that had been attached to the bait rig, they emanated long and short pulses of light.
The team believe the torch lights may have resembled another glowing T. danae, and the squid were possibly emitting light as courtship behaviour.
Deep-sea squid - once thought to be legendary monsters of the sea - are notoriously difficult to study, and little is known about their ecology and biology. Several species prowl the ocean depths.
T. danae is thought to be abundant in the tropical and subtropical oceans of the world. The largest reported measured 2.3m (7.5ft) in length and weighed nearly 61.4kg (134.5lbs).
Larger species of giant squid belong to the Architeuthidae family: females are thought to measure up to 13m (43ft) in length.
But the aptly named colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) is thought to be the largest of all - possibly reaching up to 14m (46ft) long.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/technology/ ... 4a32e516baJapanese scientists film giant squid in Pacific Ocean's depths
SCIENTISTS and broadcasters have captured footage of an elusive giant squid roaming the depths of the Pacific Ocean, showing it in its natural habitat for the first time ever.
Japan's National Science Museum succeeded in filming the deep-sea creature at a depth of more than half a kilometre after teaming up with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the US Discovery Channel.
The massive invertebrate is the stuff of legend, with sightings of a huge ocean-dwelling beast reported by sailors for centuries.
The creature is thought to be the genesis of the Nordic legend of Kraken, a sea monster believed to have attacked ships in waters off Scandinavia over the last millennium.
Modern-day scientists on their own Moby Dick-style search used a submersible to descend to the dark and cold depths of the northern Pacific Ocean, where at around 630 metres they managed to film a three-metre specimen.
After around 100 missions, during which they spent 400 hours in the cramped submarine, the three-man crew tracked the creature from a spot some 15 kilometres east of Chichi island in the north Pacific.
Museum researcher Tsunemi Kubodera said they followed the enormous mollusc to a depth of 900 metres as it swam into the ocean abyss.
NHK showed footage of the silver-coloured creature, which had huge black eyes, as it swam against the current, holding a bait squid in its arms.
For Mr Kubodera it was the culmination of a lengthy quest for the beast.
''It was shining and so beautiful,'' Mr Kubodera told AFP. ''I was so thrilled when I saw it first hand, but I was confident we would because we rigorously researched the areas we might find it, based on past data.''
Mr Kubodera said the creature had its two longest arms missing, and estimated it would have been eight metres long if it had been whole. He gave no explanation for its missing arms.
He said it was the first video footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat - the depths of the sea where there is little oxygen and the weight of the water above exerts enormous pressure.
Mr Kubodera, a squid specialist, also filmed what he says was the first live video footage of a giant squid in 2006, but only from his boat after it was hooked and brought up to the surface.
''Researchers around the world have tried to film giant squid in their natural habitats, but all attempts were in vain before,'' Mr Kubodera said.
''With this footage we hope to discover more about the life of the species,'' he said, adding that he planned to publish his findings soon.
Mr Kubodera said the two successful sightings of the squid - in 2012 and 2006 - were both in the same area, some 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo, suggesting it could be a major habitat for the species.
The giant squid, "Architeuthis" to scientists, is sometimes described as one of the last mysteries of the ocean, being part of a world so hostile to humans that it has been little explored.
Researchers say Architeuthis eats other types of squid and grenadier, a species of fish that lives in the deep ocean. They say it can grow to be longer than 10 metres.
NHK said it and the Discovery Channel are scheduled to air special documentaries on the find later this month.
http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/p ... ant-squid/Beachgoers in Spain discover 30-foot giant squid
Carcass found in Cantabria is that of the mysterious and fabled Architeuthis Dux; it remains unclear whether the deep-sea denizen will be put on display
Beachgoers in the Spanish community of Cantabria were astonished Tuesday when they stumbled onto the carcass of a giant squid that had washed ashore almost fully intact.
The deep-sea denizen—the fabled and mysterious Architeuthis Dux—measured 30 feet and weighed nearly 400 pounds.
It was delivered to the Maritime Museum of Cantabria, where it was cleaned and frozen, while a decision is awaited between museum scientists and the government as to what will be done with the colossal cephalopod.
(According to El Diario Montanes, there has been some argument regarding ownership, and it remains unclear whether the squid will be put on display, eventually, or dissected in the name of science. According to some reports it was initially to be simply cremated.)
Regardless, the discovery was remarkable, considering that giant squid, although they’re the largest invertebrates on earth, are extremely elusive and, thus, difficult to study.
They generally reside at depths of between 1,000 and 3,000 feet, and most of what scientists have learned has come from carcasses that have washed ashore, and rarely are entire carcasses found.
However, scientists are persistent in their quest to learn more. In 2004, Japanese researchers captured the first known live images of giant squid. In 2006, a team of Japanese researchers brought to the surface a live female squid measuring 24 feet.
The mysterious creatures, meanwhile, remain steeped in lore.
In the times of ancient mariners, Architeuthis Dux, which resides in the lightless depths of all of the world’s oceans, is believed to have spawned tales of sea monsters, such as the legendary Kraken.
Architeuthis Dux was one of the vicious creatures in Jules Verne’s classic science fiction novel, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” (First published in 1870; made into a Disney movie in 1954.)
It was represented in other books, too, from Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” to Ian Fleming’s “Dr. No,” to Peter Benchley’s “Beast” (later adapted as a film, “The Beast”).
To many, the mere mention of giant squid conjures images of the beasts waging vicious battles with deep-diving sperm whales, although in these battles the squid is the prey and the whales are the predators.
The giant squid that washed ashore in Cantabria was photographed by Enrique Talledo, who allowed the use of images accompanying this story.
“The animal died at sea and ocean currents brought it to the coast,” Talledo said via email. “The squid was in good condition except one [tentacle] had been broken.”
He remarked the eyes were gigantic and almost lifelike.
That’s no surprise because the giant squid, according to National Geographic, possess the largest eyes in the animal kingdom. They can measure 10 inches in diameter, almost the size of beach balls, and it’s believed the size helps the creatures detect objects in their dark habitat.
There are only a handful of museums that have a giant squid carcass on display. Hopefully, the public in Cantabria will soon be able to admire this remarkable specimen.
Fisherman catches giant squid in Japan
Independent. Joe Krishnan. 13 January 2014
A fisherman has become a phenomenon in his native Japan after catching a four-metre giant squid off the coast of Sadogashima Island.
Shigenori Goto discovered the giant mollusc – measured at 13ft – caught in his fishing net on Wednesday morning, after initially setting out to catch Japanese amberjack fish.
The fisherman was stunned to discover the giant squid trapped in his net, having been caught at a depth of around 70m, about two-thirds of a mile from the coast.
"When I hauled up the net, the squid slowly came floating up," Goto told local media. "This is the first time I've seen such a large squid."
The squid, later confirmed as a male, died shortly after coming to the surface after being brought in from the net.
Local officials took the squid to a government research institute in Niigata for further research.
Giant squids have been known to grow up to 43ft in size. And while the male variety may only reach 150kg, scientists estimate that the female gender can weigh as much as 275kg.
Certainly do seem to be a lot of giant squid being off Japan these days.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...as-an-omen-by-japanese-fisherman-9140819.html
Giant squid seen as an 'omen' by Japanese fisherman
Independent. Heather Saul. 20 February 2014
An increase in the number of giant squid being caught along the Sea of Japan coast is leading fisherman to fear it may be some kind of omen.
A giant squid was taken to the Himi fishing port in Toyama Prefecture on 4 January, and another was discovered in a net off Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture on 8 January, according to The Japan Times.
Three squid were taken to Sado and Himi that measured between three and four metres long, the newspaper has reported.
The two longest tentacles of one of the creatures caught in the town of Iwami in Tottori Prefechure were missing, meaning it could have spanned eight metres prior to its capture.
Several of the creatures have been ensnared in fishing nets. Earlier this month a local fisherman caught a four-metre giant squid off the coast of Sadogashima Island.
"When I hauled up the net, the squid slowly came floating up," Shigenori Goto told local media at the time. "This is the first time I've seen such a large squid."
He told The Japan Times yesterday: “I had seen no giant squid before in my 15-year fishing career. I wonder whether it may be some kind of omen.”
Giant squid have been known to grow up to 43ft in size. And while the male variety may only reach 150kg, scientists estimate that the female gender can weigh as much as 275kg.
Squid usually live 600 meters below the water’s surface where temperatures are 6 to 10 degrees, according to Tsunemi Kubodera, the collection director at the National Museum of Nature and Science.
Squid can survive 200 metres below sea level as temperatures are around 7C. However, they fell to about 4 degrees this year.
Mr Kubodera said he believed the giant squid swam close to the surface looking for warmer water, but were unable to stay buoyant and were swept towards beaches by winds.
Giant Squid alert: beast from deep freaks out Russian sailors (VIDEO)
Published time: 24 Jul, 2015 06:51 Edited time: 24 Jul, 2015 11:57
I used to prepare and sell whole regular sized squid off an ice bed, the ammonia thing is the same as ray wings ... they have an ice bed display point of sale and then over wrap use by date of only two days (compared to three or four days for stuff like cod fillets) from delivery date. Before then, they're perfectly safe to eat as long as they've been prepared properly. Squid spines are pretty cool, they look exactly like brittle transparent plastic. I used to wash and dry them then give them to the little kids that were ghoulish enough to want them. Squid have two layers of skin to be peeled off, a load of 'goo' that you have to wash out of them as well as sand in their suckers that also needs washing out. They're quite fiddly to prepare.IIRC they are inedible because they're stuffed with ammonia - although that might be the next size down squid