Our knowledge of giant squid is sparse, partially because these giant animals live deep in the oceans and rarely come anywhere near the depths of fishermen. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that anyone was able to get footage of the giant squid in its ocean habitat.
Giant squids really do live up to their name too, coming in between 33 and 43 feet long (10-13m). Interestingly, unlike in the human world where men are taller than women, in the giant squid world, the females best the males by ten feet in length! These giant squids can weigh up to a ton and are one of the primary food groups for sperm whales. So while we rarely see live giant squids, we know they are abundant at the murky deep depths of the ocean.
How did researchers film a live giant squid? They found it by using bioluminescent lights. Small prey use this as a defense signal to medium-sized predators. Large predators, however, see it as meal time, swooping in and eating the medium-sized predators.
Growing in size to up to 10 meters or more with eyes the size of dinner plates, giant squid often live very deep in the ocean. Due to their depth, it was always difficult to find giant squid in their natural habitat. Just a few encounters taught us a lot about a giant squid. We went from thinking they were passive hunters to realizing they were very aggressive.
Giant Baby Squid Found off of Japan’s Coast
If our knowledge of giant squid is sparse, our knowledge about giant baby squid is next to nothing. Many times fisherman catch giant baby squid in their nets but either throw them back or serve them up as dinner.
They assume they are just like another adult squid in their haul, not realizing that giant baby squid are the size of a regular adult squid.
We are already using this new information to learn how their arms and suckers form, as well as the type of habitat they would be found in. Hopefully, they will use the new specimens to learn about their feeding behaviors and more! Although, I will say, “giant baby squid” is a really funny description!