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Japanese Scientists Photograph Giant Squid

Guest Margaret

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Guest Margaret

Two Japanese scientists, Tsunemi Kubodera and Kyoichi Mori, have captured the first ever photographs of a giant squid in the wild, using automated cameras.

At a site off Japan's Ogasawara Islands, about 960 kilometres south of Tokyo, the two men recorded more than 550 images of the eight-metre long cephalopod, which carries the scientific name Architeuthis dux. The cameras were attached to fishing lines baited with squid and bags of mashed shrimp and suspended at a depth of roughly 900 metres. Over a period of more than four hours photographs were taken as the animal attacked the lures. It finally broke free after snagging itself on a hook, leaving behind one of its two longest tentacles, which was subsequently recovered.


The squid, which has hitherto only been seen dead when specimens were caught in fishing nets or washed up on beaches, was found feeding at depths where no light penetrates even during the day.


The photo sequence shows the squid homing in on the baited line and enveloping it in "a ball of tentacles". Few details have been published about how the pictures were taken, but a report on New Scientist.com claims they came from a "cheap" digital camera. Several images can be viewed at


http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8064 and http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...iant_squid.html.

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