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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about... gigantic squid.


CURWOOD: One hundred and twenty years ago this week, the largest squid ever recorded by science washed up on Canada's Atlantic shore. Its arms were nearly 40 feet long, and its estimated weight? Two tons. These huge cephalopods dwell deep in the ocean, possibly as far down as 3,000 feet. Not much more is known about them, as no one has ever caught a glimpse of a giant squid alive. They've even escaped the gaze of submersible cameras, attached to sperm whales, who love to dine on squid. The giant squid is not only the largest invertebrate and the largest mollusk, it also has enormous eyes. A giant squid eye is about the same size as a human head. The most intact and well-preserved giant squid specimen resides at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Found by fishing boats off the coast of New Zealand, this squid has all 8 arms still attached. And though it's a mere 25 feet long, museum staffers have affectionately dubbed it, "Squidzilla." And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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