Giant Squid

adux at the OSC

Scientific name: Architeuthis dux

Phylum: Mollusca

Class : Cephalopoda

Order: Teuthoida

Family: Architeuthidae

Description: The Giant squid is the largest invertebrate, stretching up to 60 feet in length, including tentacles. Squid are related to snails, chitons,and bivalves. They no longer have a shell, but possess a stiff structure known as a pen that acts as a flexible backbone. The body is nearly round. Like other squid they have eight, equal-length “sessile” arms and two much longer “tentacular” arms. Giant squid have usually large eyes, which can reach 25cm in diameter. They are the largest eyes in the anima kingdom. They use the beak in their mouths to rip and tear prey. Like other squid they can emit ink to confuse predators.

Distribution: Giant squid has been found in Pacific (around New Zealand) and North Atlantic waters. The geographic is not believed to be limited to these regions. They are believed to be bottom dwellers, living near the rocks of the continental shelves at 900-200 feet deep. They are occasionally found at the ocean’s surface, however.

Locomotion: They have small tail fins, used to steer and stabilize the squid when moving at low speeds. They move quickly by jet propulsion and have the fins tucked around the body.

Food gathering: Giant squids are a voracious deep sea predator. They are believed to prey on fish, crustaceans, and other, smaller squids.

Reproduction: The sexes are separated, with eggs being fertilized internally. The eggs hatch in a developed stage that resembles the adult

Interesting facts: Giant squids are pests in the fishing industry, as they are suspected to consume large amounts of fish and can get tangled in nets. Approximately 65 Giant squid, 1/5 of all specimens were found in Newfoundland waters.


adux at the osc  


OSC Research

Dr. Fredrick Aldrich, the first director of the Marine Sciences Research Laboratory (now the Ocean Sciences Centre) specialized in studying Giant Squid.