Watch Scientists Dissect a Remarkably Intact Colossal Squid

by Owen James Burke

In the clip above, you’ll see the squid’s massive beak (shaped almost exactly like a parrot’s mouth) removed from its body. Although we have a faint idea, we still don’t really know what it is, exactly, that the colossal squid’s diet consists of.

This might be the best intact colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) science has had the opportunity to study, and if you’ve got three-and-a-half hours to watch a bunch of scientists counting, measuring and fumbling with a dead squid in a tub, then fry up some calamari, sit back and enjoy! Otherwise, we’ve fast-forwarded to a couple of the better, gorier parts.

Occasionally, fishermen pull colossal (or giant) squid are pulled in by fishermen, or wash up on beaches, and scientists are able to study them. This rare specimen was considerably more fresh than most, and so these scientists were excited. It is believed that the colossal squid is the largest invertebrate on earth, and although their morphology seems to vary greatly in shape, color, and even anatomy, they all belong to the same species.

And here’s the part where they pull its eye out:

 

Museum of New Zealand

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