Author of the illustration: Rcidte
Colossal Squid Facts – Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni
The eyes of the Colossal squid are larger than that of any other creature on Earth. It is also known as the largest species of squid in the world. It can be up to 46 feet in length. This also classifies it as the largest known invertebrate out there as well.
The ends of the tentacles also feature extremely sharp hooks. They also have a longer mantle than most types of squid out there. The females are much larger in size than the males. They also have a beak that is much larger than any other squid. They are often mistake for the giant squid due to the many similarities. Looking at the size of the beak though is a great way to tell them apart.
In the colder waters is where you will find the Colossal Squid. They can be found along Antarctica, New Zealand, and even some areas of Africa. However, the habitat of it is extremely remote which makes it very difficult to observe them in a natural setting.
The tend to live in the deeper regions of these areas too. They are more than 1,000 feet below the surface. Even with advanced types of technology it is hard to observe their natural behaviors there. The offspring though tend to be closer to the surface so their movements are easier to track.
There isn’t much at all known about this type of squid. Therefore it is hard to guess what their actual behaviors are. It is believed that they are loners in the water and that they eat large volumes of food daily.
It is believed that they often fight Sperm Whales when they are going to be eaten by them. This is based on various types of scars on the backs of these whales. The injuries are consistent with the design of the hooks on the tentacles of the squid.
Due to their enormous size, the Colossal Squid consumes a big volume of large fish out there. They are very powerful so they don’t have any trouble capturing and consuming these large fish. They are able to chew of chunks that they can swallow and it can take them several minutes to consume one large fish that they have successfully captured.
The Colossal Squid is one of the few species where the males have a penis for reproduction. However, the actual reproduction process has never actually been observed to be certain of what that process entails. Even the courtship of this species of squid isn’t known.
The only known predator of the Colossal Squid is the Sperm Whale. This is confirmed due to them being found inside of the stomach linings of these animals. There isn’t much that has to be done though for conservation since they are so hard to find in the water. It is believed that there are plenty of them out there though so their numbers aren’t in jeopardy.
The first Colossal Squid was identified in 1925. It was found in the stomach of a dead Sperm Whale. It wasn’t until 1981 though that one was actually captured alive in a net. The largest one every captured was recorded in 2007. It took place in New Zealand and weighed almost 1,100 pounds.
There seems to be a great deal of respect both from fishermen and researchers when it comes to the Colossal Squid. That is why such care it taken with evaluating it. You will find many of them in museums of natural history in these areas as well. This continues to be a species of squid though with plenty of mystery surrounding it.