Giant squid found in Cayman head to US museum

| 22/10/2013

(CNS): Two rare giant species of squid, which were found floating on the surface of the ocean by local fishermen, Dennis Denton andJonathan Arch, are on their way to the Smithsonian Institution’s preserved cephalopod research collection in Washington DC. The specimens are going to Washington via the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where they arrived this weekend for documentation and preservation before they head to the US capital. The squid, which are about two metres long, are described by local scientists as being in excellent condition and will provide important scientific data as these two deep sea cephalopod species are rarely encountered as adults.

The Megalocranchia is unique as many examined specimens are much smaller and there are very few adult animals in such good condition. Asperoteuthis acanthoderma is also extremely rare – the species was first discovered in the Wider Caribbean in 2007 with the only records until that time indicating that this species was found off the coast of Japan. 

The squids’ journey has been a collaborative effort between the Department of Environment and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, as well as Royal Caribbean.

When Dr Janice Blumenthal received the squid from the fishermen, she contacted cephalopod experts in the United States for verification of the species. Earth2ocean connected the Department of Environment and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg  and the cruise line, which agreed to transport the specimens from Grand Cayman to Port Canaveral, Florida.  Once there, Cephalopod specialist Dr Heather Judkins will document the find with measurements and photography this week before sending them on.

“It was a pleasure to work with all the Royal Caribbean staff to arrange this unique transfer,” said Blumenthal. “They were extremely efficient in arranging the complex logistics of transporting the rare squid aboard their ship and importing them into the United States – though this was of course the first time any of us had attempted this.”

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (7)

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  1. Interested and Concerned says:

    Hmmm… Giant squid … see giant Oarfish as well on this link –  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24620755  Some are saying it could denote a sign of an impending earthquake.  Is this why we are seeing a giant squid too????

  2. Anonymous says:

    Put them back in their natural habitat!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Excellent. Hope they pay the two locals.

  4. Slowpoke says:

    Hmmm,

    Sashimi with a little wasabi and soy sauce or,

    lightly battered and deep fried?

    Just Kidding! Go science.

     

  5. FATCAt says:

    First they take our hard earned dollars, now they want our giant squid? Obama gots to go.