A team of scientists and researchers in New Zealand on Tuesday dissected only the second intact specimen of a colossal squid hauled from the ocean.
Colossal squid, with their eight arms and two tentacles, both covered in fearsome rotating hooks, are the largest tentacled creatures in the ocean as measured by weight. The first one ever found, in 2007, weighed in at almost 1,100 pounds.
Giant squid are frequently cited as being longer — an 1887 scientific paper claimed they measured one at 55 feet long — but it’s unclear if those measurements are accurate. And with so few colossal specimens ever examined and the variations and changes in body size that occur after death, researchers say they would need to examine many more colossal squid to really understand how large they can grow.