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Colossal Squid Goes On Display At Te Papa


A 5.4 metre squid, of a species larger and more aggressive than any other known, was recently found in the Southern Ocean. The mantle, arms and tentacles of this squid are on display in the Wellington Foyer at Te Papa until Sunday 4 May.

Dr Steve O'Shea, a leading authority on squid, identified the beast as a colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni), a species even larger than the giant squid. The colossal squid has many unique characteristics, including two rows of swivelling razor-sharp hooks along the tentacle and a combination of hooks and suckers along its arms. Its beak is the largest of any known squid.

On examination, Dr O'Shea found the animal to be a young female and only about half of her potential size. It is thought that a full-grown adult could measure approximately 12 metres.

Dr O' Shea and his associate Kat Bolstad will give a series of floortalks at Te Papa, explaining some of the mysteries of this gigantic creature.

Floortalks by Dr Steve O'Shea Saturday 26th 12-12.45pm Wellington Foyer, by the tank 1pm-1.45pm interactive talk in NatureSpace Discovery Centre, Level 2 Sunday 27th 12 -12.45pm Wellington Foyer, by the tank 1pm-1.45pm interactive talk in NatureSpace Discovery Centre, Level 2. Free entry.

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