Scientists Thaw Colossal Squid for Probe

Researchers begin thawing 34-foot creature, aim to determine its sex
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Apr 28, 2008 10:56 AM CDT
A giant squid is seen after it washed up onto Ocean Beach in Strahan, Tasmania, Tuesday, July, 10. 2007.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – New Zealand scientists have begun defrosting a colossal squid, caught last year, so they can dissect the little-known species. They aim to start by determining the sex of the 34-foot long animal, a native of Antarctica that weighs half a ton. "They're incredibly rare—this is probably one of six specimens ever brought up," one researcher told the BBC.

The colossal squid was first classified in 1925 when scientists found two tentacles inside a sperm whale—a deep-diving animal with teeth large enough to prey on the titan. But it's not an easy catch: Colossal squids are fighters equipped with sharp beaks and hook-like extremities. The scientists will be showing off their findings in a live webcast before embalming the squid.