Thursday, March 15, 2007

Colossal squid's headache for science

from the bbc:

It is believed to be the first ever intact adult colossal squid to be landed.

And for now, this beast of the deep - all 495kg (1,090lb) of it - is safely frozen in a one-cubic-metre block of ice at New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, in Wellington.

The squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) came into the institution this week after being caught last month by fishermen operating in Antarctic waters.

Eventually, when the curators at Te Papa are ready, this unique specimen will be thawed to allow detailed investigation.

But that could be up to a year away.

The entire storage area for Te Papa's "wet" collection is being renovated, and the squid will not have a permanent home until that work is completed.

Only then can the delicate work of un-freezing this massive mollusc begin.

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