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Althalus

Giant squid washes up on Australian beach

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - A giant squid with tentacles measuring at least 15 metres (yards) has washed up on a southern Australian beach, exciting scientists who believe they may have stumbled across a new species.

The monster cephalopod washed up on Seven Mile Beach in the southern island state of Tasmania some time over the weekend. The squid, which weighs about 250 kg (550 pounds), was hauled by trailer to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery on Monday.

"It's definitely of the giant squid group, which is exciting enough," David Pemberton, the museum's senior zoology curator, told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio.

"But it does have some features about it which we're unsure about and we've called some specialists...to help decide, but it looks like it could be different," he said.

Pemberton said the most intriguing features were long, thin flaps of muscle attached to each of the eight tentacles, which measured between 15 metres and 18 metres. Giant squid also have two smaller feeding tentacles.

Only two other of the rare giant squid have been found in Tasmania, in 1986 and 1991. They usually live on the edge of the continental shelf off Australia's coast at depths of at least 500 metres.

Giant squid are found in all the oceans of the world and are believed to be the origin of many ancient maritime legends about mysterious creatures from the deep.

They have also featured in great works of fiction like Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" and Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea".

But Pemberton said there was no chance of the Tasmanian discovery ending up as a massive serving of calamari because its high ammonia content meant it would most likely taste like floor cleaner.

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         Can you imagine being the first person to spot that during your morning run on the beach?  :o

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yeah  :o

and all the old stories of  Sea Monsters came back in vivid flashbacks :s1 :s2 :s2 :s2

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[blue]I'd be screaming and running for cover. lol. [/blue] :s9

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There have been reports of people actually seeing giant squids in fierce combat with whales, but as far as I know, there haven't been any actual pictures of live giant squids. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before someone comes up with a photo, or better yet, a video of a live giant squid in action. :s01

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hehe, this is a topic i like =). I do believe there is lots of giant creatures under the ocean, just go to www.discoverychannel.com and find the website on deep sea creatures. I do know that Squids r in the sperm whale diet and that there are even more amazing creatures in the deep black waters of the sea. take the celacant for example, the so called "living fossil." This is something that scientists cant overlook and start doing more reasearch on, after all, we have not yet unraveled all the mysteries here on earth. Come to think of it too, this creature r surviving extremely high pressure, it could be of good use to study them. There are some ppl that say that if we got even deeper we would maybe find gigantic snails and prehistoric creatures.

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Thanks crosis,

excellent articles and I really enjoyed the video's. I didn't know squid were so graceful.

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Giant squid 'taking over world'

By Simon Benson

July 31, 2002

GIANT squid are taking over the world, well at least the oceans, and they are getting bigger.

According to scientists, squid have overtaken humans in terms of total bio-mass.

That means they take up more space on the planet than us.

The reason has been put down to overfishing of other species and climate change.

A report in the Australian science journal, Australasian Science, said marine researchers are now in universal agreement that cephalopods have been given an advantage not available to any other sea creature.

And as a result they have been allowed to flourish.

Their growth rates also seem to be increasing as is their body size.

The findings may offer an answer to the mysterious appearance of a giant squid on the coast of Tasmania last week and hundreds of squid washed ashore on the coast of California this week, although El Nino is also being partly blamed.

Squid are now regarded as the "major player'' in the world oceans by sheer volume alone.

Overfishing of some fish species has taken away competition for the squid in finding food resources.

The warming of waters due to climate change have also allowed squid to expand their populations.

Dr George Jackson from the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean studies in Tasmania said squid thrived during environmental disasters such as global warming.

The animal ate anything in that came their way, bred whenever possible and kept growing.

"This trend has been suggested to be due both to the removal of cephalopod predators such as toothed whales and tuna and an increase of cephalopods due to removal of finfish competitors,'' said Dr Jackson.

"The fascinating thing about squid is that they're short-lived.

"I haven't found any tropical squid in Australia older than

200 days.

"Many of the species have exponential growth, particularly during the juvenile stage so if you increase the water temperature by even a degree it has a tremendous snowballing effect of rapidly increasing their growth rate and their ultimate body size.

"They get much bigger and they can mature earlier and it just accelerates everything.''

The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN supports the theory claiming squid landings have been increasing over the past 25 years at greater rates than fish.

   www.news.com.au

 

                                      X

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8) 8) 8) Hey people thanks for the above articles. Cool  and interesting stuff indeed  8) 8) 8) Although I live in the land down under, I had no idea of this recent find in Tassie (Aussie slang for Tasmania). All the media is interested about at the moment is Kylie Minogue and the commonwealth games.

It's true that we have only scratched the surface in deep ocean exploration. I recently saw a documentary by D.Attenborough on some really bizzare sea creatures never seen before. Although they were not of giant or  'monster'  proportions, it was still an eye-opener. Who knows these strange cratures are propbably swimming around the old temples of Atlantis and Mu.

See ya later  ;D

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Sea monsters are cool 8)

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