(Steenstrup in Harting, 1860)
The Giant Squid is a large squid that lives in the Bathypelagic Zone of the Deep Sea, and can grow up to a very incredibly large size.
The first live Giant Squid in its habitat was spotted in September 2004, by the National Science Museum of Japan. This squid is one of the rarest, and a dead specimen can be found at the Smithsonian.
There is little known about the Giant Squid, which causes for great confusion when determining its species. Many theories suggest that there are many different species of Giant Squid (Atlantic Ocean, Southern Ocean, Northern Pacific, etc.), while other sources disagree. The list of proposed Giant Squid species follows as:
- Architeuthis dux, Atlantic giant squid
- Architeuthis hartingii
- Architeuthis japonica
- Architeuthis kirkii
- Architeuthis martensi, North Pacific giant squid
- Architeuthis physeteris
- Architeuthis sanctipauli, southern giant squid
- Architeuthis stockii
Though it is possible there is only one Giant Squid. According to the University of Coppenhagen's DNA research on the squid, they stated in May 2013 that there couldn't possibly be multiple species. They state: "...researchers at the University of Copenhagen leading an international team, have discovered that no matter where in the world they are found, the fabled animals are so closely related at the genetic level that they represent a single, global population, and thus despite previous statements to the contrary, a single species worldwide." Of course, only more research on this mysterious creature over time can determine the real answer.
It was believed that, in the early 1990's, a deep sea diver had taken a picture with a Giant Squid, therefor being the first live sighting. However, in further investigation it has been revealed that the squid in the picture was a Robust clubhook squid, which looks very similar. In 2001, Chasing Giants: On the Trail of the Giant Squid (a film on Discovery Channel) aired the first film of a live Giant Squid. And in 2012, a film of the squid in its natural habitat was released. Today, there are dead specimens in the Melbourne Aquarium and National Smithsonian Musuem of Natural History in Washington D.C.
|Marine||Marine Habitats • Aquariums • Global Oceans • Ocean Weather
|Vertebrate||Fishes • Mammals • Reptiles • Amphibians • Cartilaginous Fishes • Sharks
|Invertebrate||Arthropod • Mollusca • Echinoderms • Cnidaria
|Conservation Status||Critically Endangered • Endangered • Near Threatened • Vulnerable • Least Concern • Data Deficient • Not Evaluated|