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Japanese scientists film live giant squid

Thursday, September 29th 2005 - 21:00 UTC
Full article

Two Japanese scientists managed for the first time ever to photograph a live giant squid, was reported in the Royal Society B “Proceedings” journal.

The eight metres long Architauthis was detected when preying at a depth of 900 metres offshore the Japanese islands of Bonin.

The two scientists are Tsunemi Kubodera form the Tokyo National Science Museum and Ikyoichi Mori a marine biologist expert in whales.

"We believe it's the first time a giant adult squid has been photographed in its natural habitat" underlined the two scientists.

So far the giant squid known to man had appeared dead in fishermen's nets or in some beaches, particularly in the Pacific.

"The most impressive characteristic of the giant squid is its two very long tentacles, which differ from the rest". In their efforts to photograph the huge cephalopod Kubodera and Mori used a camera and depth recorder attached to a long-line, which they lowered into the sea from their research vessel.

Below the camera, they suspend a weighted jig, a set of ganged hooks to snag the squid, along with a Japanese common squid as bait and an odor lure consisting of chopped-up shrimps.

Finally on September 30 Kubodera and Mori managed to take more than 550 images of the giant squid as it made repeated attempts to detach itself. The pictures show the squid spreading its arms, enveloping the long-line and swimming away in its efforts to struggle free.

The full article and pictures can be seen at the The Royal Society Publications Site.

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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