Architeuthis Caught In Gulf of Mexico

 NOAA scientists with giant squid aboard the NOAA research vessel Gordon Gunter. (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA scientists with giant squid aboard the NOAA research vessel Gordon Gunter. (Credit: NOAA)

From NOAA…

Scientists from NOAA’s Fisheries Service have captured a giant squid while conducting research off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. This is only the second known giant squid obtained from the Gulf of Mexico – the first was collected in 1954 off the Mississippi Delta where it was found floating dead at the surface.

This giant squid was collected on July 30, during a 60-day scientific study where scientists from NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center and the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service were studying the availability and diversity of sperm whale prey. The scientists were aboard the NOAA research vessel Gordon Gunter when the squid was caught in a trawl pulled behind the research vessel at a depth of more than 1,500 feet.

“As the trawl net rose out of the water, I could see that we had something big in there…really big,” said Anthony Martinez, marine mammal scientist for NOAA’s Fisheries Service and chief scientist for this research cruise. “We knew there was a remote possibility of encountering a giant squid on this cruise, but it was not something we were realistically expecting.”

This giant squid was preserved and sent to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum for Natural History for further study. It measures just over 19½ feet long and weighs more than 103 pounds.

Dr. M (1623 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.





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3 comments on “Architeuthis Caught In Gulf of Mexico
  1. Pingback: Deep Sea News - Architeuthis Caught - Scuba Blogs - ScubaSpotz

  2. This is awesome. I was lucky enough (for an undergrad) to go out on a research vessel into the gulf this summer for a class. Went out on the R/V Pelican from LUMCON in Louisiana. I really, really enjoyed it and hope to get a chance to go out again in the future somewhere. It’s probably unlikely, but even getting out as the lowest of the low crew would be fine as well.

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