Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Te Papa Gets Largest Ever Squid Specimen

14 March 2007

MEDIA RELEASE

Te Papa Takes Ownership Of Largest Ever Colossal Squid Specimen

Mark Fenwick, technician, and Rick Webber (left), marine invertebrates curator in Te Papa's Tory St research facility. Photo is copyright of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

*******

A colossal squid, believed to be the first adult male specimen to be landed, was delivered to Te Papa yesterday. Unfrozen, the specimen is thought to weigh approximately 450kg and measure 10metres in length.

The squid is currently stored in a walk-in freezer in Te Papa’s Tory St research facility. When it was initially stored it filled about two thirds of a 1.5m2 bin that has a 1200 litre capacity.

The colossal squid was caught by a New Zealand fishing vessel, owned by Sanford Ltd, in the Ross Sea in early February. It was carefully brought on board the vessel and frozen in the ship’s hold. Prior to its transfer to Te Papa, it was stored in Sanford’s Timaru depot.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said the colossal squid will be a great source of interest to science and the people of New Zealand. “I applaud the careful work of the Sanford crew and the Ministry of Fisheries observer that delivered this fantastic creature in such good condition. As I said at the time of the find, the excellent co-operation between Te Papa, the Observer Programme, and the New Zealand fishing industry has made this once in a lifetime opportunity an exciting reality," Jim Anderton said.

Dr Seddon Bennington, Chief Executive of Te Papa, and Jim Anderton will sign a Deed of Gift in a ceremony on Tuesday 20 March at Te Papa’s Tory St research facility at 3.45pm. The signing will take place in front of the frozen squid specimen and media are welcome to attend.

"A far more detailed examination of colossal squid anatomy and proportions, including male anatomy and morphology, can now be undertaken. While few giant or colossal squids are caught with stomach contents, we are hoping there is some indication of what it has been eating," said Rick Webber, Te Papa’s marine vertebrates curator.

Mr Webber noted it is unlikely that the specimen will be unfrozen for several months as the research facility is currently undergoing renovations and a special tank will need to be designed and built to house the colossal squid.

Only a handful of colossal squid have been sighted. One was caught in the net of a Russian trawler in the Ross Sea at depth of 760m in 1981, another found near the surface in 2003, and another near South Georgia Island was brought up from a depth of 1625 metres on a toothfish longline in 2005.

Te Papa also holds a young female colossal squid specimen found in 2003, measuring 5.4 metres long – the largest recorded specimen at that time.

Colossal squid are found in Antarctic waters and are not related to giant squid (Architeuthis species) found around the coast of New Zealand. A key difference is the sharp swivelling hooks the colossal squid has in the suckers at the tips of its tentacles, suggesting it is an aggressive hunter. The giant squid has suckers lined with small teeth.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

OceanaGold: Man Killed In Waihi Mine Accident

A 29-year-old man had died following a work place accident at OceanaGold mine, Waihi last night. The man was killed after the front end loader he was in rolled down a slope. The accident happened at approximately 6.30pm on Thursday night. More>>

ALSO:

Constructing Consent: Annual Housing Consents Highest In Over A Decade

More than 29,000 new homes gained building consent in the year to June 2016, up 16 percent from the previous June year, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

ALSO:

War Against Weevil For Future Peas: “No Peas, No Weevil” Ban Now In Place In Wairarapa

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today placed a ban on growing peas within a specified area and placed controls on moving pea material (seed and untreated pea straw) within, in and out of this area for the next 2 years. More>>

ALSO:

Wood Producers: Crisis In New Zealand Log Supply

New Zealand wood processing leaders held a hui with senior government officials and political leaders in Whangarei yesterday to assess the acute log supply shortage to local mills in Northland. More>>

Consents And Taxes: Trustpower 'Very Disappointed' With Judgement

Trustpower is "very disappointed" with a Supreme Court ruling dismissing its bid to claim tax deductions on $17.7 million of project costs in a case closely watched by large-scale infrastructure developers. More>>

ALSO:

Fruitful Endeavours: Kiwifruit Exports Reach Record Levels

In June 2016, kiwifruit exports rose $105 million (47 percent) from June 2015 to reach $331 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. Overall, goods exports rose $109 million (2.6 percent) in June 2016 (to $4.3 billion). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news