The legendary giant squid is one of the most mysterious wild animals in the ocean, as living at great depths makes it challenging to observe and document. Concerning their size, there are many doubts, since they are animals in which the measurement becomes complicated. However, experts say that both males and females have a size of approximately 12 meters.
Characteristics of Giant Squid
In terms of weight, so far the largest specimen found weighed about 900 kg. However, females usually weigh 300 kg, while males can weigh up to 150 kg, which represents a marked sexual dimorphism.
An essential part of the anatomy of giant squids is their eyes, which measure approximately 25 cm in diameter. Thanks to these prominent eyes, squid can see objects deep in the sea, where there is virtually no sunlight. However, many experts claim that these wild animalscannot perceive colors. However, they can differentiate the nuances of surrounding objects.
Finally, they have a very particular mouth in the shape of a hook, their head is elongated and has the shape of a nib.
Giant Squid Habitat
The giant squid is a wild animal that has a world-wide distribution; since it has been sighted in almost all the oceans of the planet, but it does not usually frequent the polar and tropical latitudes. For example, it has been seen in:
- The Pacific Ocean (north of Japan)
- The Atlantic Ocean (at Canadian level)
- In South African waters
- Also, the British Isles
It should be noted that the giant squid is not usually on the surface of the sea, as they develop better in the depths (between 300 – 1000 meters).
Without a doubt, this is one of the least seen wild animals, which is why there is so little information about it. It is not an animal that can be domesticated, nor taken to aquariums; it lives in a harsh and inhospitable environment for some species of living beings.
Giant Squid Food
It has been challenging to explain the eating habits of the giant squid. However, it is estimated that it usually feeds on medium-sized fish or even smaller squid. To hunt prey, squid tends to mimic the environment, patiently waiting for it to get close enough to surprise it with a fulminant attack.
Male giant squids have a complex system of glands that produce spermatophores, which will be stored in Needham sacs. Then, upon coming into contact with a female and during copulation, the male through his hectocotylus (which is a specialized tentacle for transferring spermatozoa), deposits them there, inside the cavity of the female’s mantle, so that they adhere to her body.
Subsequently, the sperm go to various areas to fertilize the eggs found inside the female. The eggs are then released into the sea and are exposed to the stalking of other predators. However, a small number of eggs survive.
As we have mentioned, there is little accurate information on the situation of giant squid populations. However, it is estimated that due to their large size, these animals do not have many enemies that could endanger their lives.
One of the best-known predators of the giant squid is the sperm whale; it is common to find squid beaks in their stomachs and marks of struggles on their skin. Currently, it has not been possible to document a battle between these two magnificent animals, but it is known that the sperm whale comes out victorious almost always; since parts of sperm whales have not been found in the stomachs of giant squids.
Giant squid, on the other hand, do not suffer damage caused by active human activities because they live far beyond their reach, which is a great relief to their species.
Giant Squid Relevant Information
- The life expectancy of a giant squid is only 5 years, which is why they tend to reproduce maximum once. The giant squid is usually harmless creatures and does not attack humans. However, you may have heard many stories about giant squid attacking people. However, we must inform you that they are just myths and legends.
- This great predator was first recorded in 2004 by the staff of the National Science Museum of Japan.
- The giant squid is capable of storing ammonium in their muscles so that they can have neutral buoyancy in the water despite their large dimensions. In most animals, ammonium is toxic and therefore excreted in the form of urea. However, the giant squid can store this toxic substance without harm. For this reason, the meat of this type of cephalopod is toxic to humans.