Australian scientists examine giant squid

Date: 1/12/2003

A giant squid washed up on a Tasmanian beach could be a newly discovered species, say scientists. The 250 kilogram species was found dead on a beach in Hobart. It has been taken to the Tasmanian Museum where experts are studying its unusual characteristics, which include long, thin flaps of muscle attached to each of its eight arms.

‘What we’ve seen on this animal we haven’t seen on other squid, and it’s a significant feature,’ said zoologist David Pemberton. ‘It’s basically like having a pile of muscles on your own body that nobody else has … and I think it will rewrite the taxonomy.’

Giant squid usually live on the edge of continental shelves, about 500 metres (1,650 feet) below the ocean’s surface, he said.

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