Colossal Squid

The Colossal Squid is also known the Antarctic Squid or Giant Cranch Squid. It is the largest squid ever captured. In fact, it is the largest known mollusk and the largest known invertebrate in the world! With its enormous body, 12-14 metres (39-46 feet) long, it also has the largest eyes of any living thing on earth. Its eyes are about 30 to 40 centimetres (12-16 inches) in diameter when they are still alive. It weighs almost 500 kilograms (1100 lb).

The Colossal Squid’s limbs have sharp swivelling hooks. It has a wide and heavily-built body. Therefore, it is much heavier than the Giant Squid. It also has a longer mantle than a Giant Squid. But their tentacles are shorter than a Giant Squid’s tentacles.

Colossal Squid And Human
Colossal Squid And Human

They stay at the bottom of the sea in the Southern Ocean, which goes all the way round Antarctica. It feeds on Patagonian tooth fish and other squid in the deep ocean. It is perpetually dark and very cold where it lives, but the Colossal Squid is able to produce light to help it to see and to hunt in the pitch darkness.

The Colossal Squid has a slow metabolic rate. It only requires around 30 grams (1 ounce) of food a day. It does not need much energy because it is a slow-moving creature that hunts by ambush. The adult Colossal Squid can dive to a depth of 2200 metres (2400 yards) and the young Colossal Squid can go as deep as 1000 metres (1100 yards). The adult female Colossal Squid is generally much bigger than the male Colossal Squid.

Antarctic sperm whales feed on Colossal Squids. 14% of squid’s beaks found in the belly of Sperm Whales belong to Colossal Squids. In fact, most sperm whales have scars on their backs caused by the hooks of the Colossal Squids which make up to 77% of their prey.

There are other creatures which also eat Colossal Squids, such as the Bottlenose Whales, Pilot Whales, Southern Elephant Seals, Patagonian Toothfish, Pacific Sleeper Sharks and even Albatrosses. The beaks of the adult Colossal Squids have only been found in the Sperm Whale and Pacific Sleeper shark. The rest of the predators are only big enough to eat the young Colossal Squids.

In 2007, a live Colossal Squid was captured by a New Zealand fishing boat off Antarctica. It was about 10 metres long (33 feet) and weighed about 495 kilogram (1090 lb).  It was brought back to New Zealand for scientific study.