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Colossal Squid

Houston, TX

Have you heard of the Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis Hamiltoni)? It’s a massive squid that holds multiple records. It is also called the Antarctic squid or the Giant Cranch Squid. They live in Antarctica or in the Southern Ocean, at depths of 1,000 meters or more.

Colossal Squid Image Source: Wikipedia
Colossal Squid

Very little is known about the Colossal Squid because only a few have been caught and very little has been studied. But as far as we know, the Colossal Squid is the largest, most elusive, and in my opinion, the coolest squid in the world. Colossal Squid are pretty intelligent, despite being related to a garden snail. Adult Colossal Squid have the biggest eyeball in the world, some people say it is about the size of a basketball and the eye is larger than most whales. Adult Colossal Squid have most traits common with all squid, a mantle for locomotion, a pair of gills, eight arms and 2 tentacles, a head, and fins. Tentacles are longer than arms and colossal squid have hooks on their tentacles and arms, either spinning or pointed on 3 sides. The colossal squid are invertebrates. The largest colossal squids spotted till now are female and no male colossal squid have been caught till now. The full body length of a colossal squid is 14 meters, so the colossal squid is a bit bigger than the giant squid, which is 13 meters long. The colossal squid also weighs 495 kg (1,091 lb). The mantle alone is 2 meters. The mantle is the classic top part. The mantle contains gonad, stomach, inter shell, gill heart, gill, mantle cavity, ink sac, anus, and siphon.

Colossal Squid Anatomy - Vertical View
Colossal Squid Anatomy - Vertical View
Chaetognaths - Bioluminescence
Chaetognaths in its bioluminescence

The diet of the colossal squid is not very known. Scientists are studying more about colossal squids. With what is explored so far, it is identified that Colossal squid eats chaetognaths, which are a small species of arrow worms, Fangtooth Toothfish, and smaller squid using bioluminescence. There had been a study once on Prydz Bay region of Antarctica where squid remains were identified in the stomach of a female colossal squid, suggesting that the colossal squid could be cannibalistic.

The Reproductive Cycle of these squids are NOT fully discovered, but it is guessed that the female body should be able to store the male sperms for a longer duration. Giant Squid lay eggs in clusters, so colossal squid are thought to do the same. Once the colossal squid eggs hatch, the babies will look a lot like their parents and live on their own, in the shallow water until they are ready to move to the deeper water, where they will know how to fight the bigger squid that might eat them.

Sperm Whale vs Colossal Squid - Epic Fight Illustration
Sperm Whale vs Colossal Squid

Colossal Squid’s predators are sleeper sharks and sperm whales. The first identified specimen of a Colossal Squid was inside a sperm whale's stomach in the 1900's. Writers illustrate the two species to have epic fights, leaving both species injured. But people don’t know if this is true, because it happens in really deep water and in remote areas.

Colossal squids are mysterious yet interesting. Hopefully, we will get to know this squid more in the future.


Elusive: difficult to describe due to varied character traits

Bioluminescence: emission of light by a living organism.

Traits: features

Invertebrates: organisms that do not have a backbone

Locomotion: moving ability

Cannibalistic: animals that eats flesh of animals of its own type.

Massive: Huge

If your eyes and mouth are wide opened imagining this gigantic animal, read more in STEM-E to be amazed even more!

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