A huge, sucking carcass of a giant squid washed up on the rocky shore of Scarborough Beach in Cape Town, South Africa on Tuesday (August 16). According to a South African news site, the approximately 4.3m-long animal was the second giant squid to appear on the region’s coast. news 24 (opens in new tab).
last known giant squid ,Archituthis ducks) To wash edge Live Science previously reported that it appeared on Kometji’s Long Beach, about 10 kilometers northwest of Scarborough Beach near Cape Town, on April 30 cephalopod Measured approximately 11.5 feet (3.5 m) long. For comparison, the largest giant squid ever recorded was measured at 43 feet (13 m) in length, and some studies suggest the creatures could potentially reach lengths of up to 66 feet (20 m), although never before a squid of this size has been seen done.
The squid that washed up on Scarborough beach this week looked different a duck “Although there are other large squid, I’m pretty sure it’s an actual giant squid,” said Mike Vecchione, an invertebrate zoologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who works at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC , is stationed. science tells. in an email.
Other species of squid, including the colossal squid (mesonychotuthis hamilton), rival a duck in terms of enormous size, and some scholars argue that architecture The genus is actually more of a variety of giant squid species a duck alone, according to the Smithsonian (opens in new tab).
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Beaks of giant squid species revealed (involving marine biologists) – Scarborough wreck this morning. pic.twitter.com/9Mr9QbjZmiAugust 16, 2022
Without examining the internal organs, it’s difficult to predict how the Scarborough Beach squid died, Vecchione said. “Note that most of the skin is bruised and some hands are broken, but this (especially skin abrasions) may result from washing off a rocky ledge.” The rest of the skin on the squid’s coat — the muscular covering that covers its Contains organs – glows ghostly white Sunday,
It may be that the squid was foraging in shallow, near-shore waters and hit a ship’s propeller, “but that’s hard to prove without witnesses,” said Dylan, marine scientist and curator at the Iziko South African Museum. said Clark. news 24. “The literature…suggests that they migrate to shallow water because they exhibit a behavior called vertical migration. In other words, they venture into shallow water to feed in the evening and deeper during the day. Back in the water.”
According to the Smithsonian, giant squid typically live in cold waters about 500 to 1,000 m below the sea surface, and they use their plate-sized eyes to see in the dark of ink. do for. Based on where the animals washed ashore, scientists believe squid could inhabit all of the world’s oceans, but they are most commonly found on the coasts of New Zealand and the Pacific islands east and west of the North Atlantic, and are seen along the South Atlantic african coast.
“Adrift architecture are not uncommon on South African shores,” Vecchione told Live Science. “This is one of many places around the world where they show up regularly.”
Officials collected tissue samples from squid carcasses on Scarborough Beach and they will soon be examined by researchers from the Iziko South African Museum, Cape Town’s coast manager Greg Olofsey told News24. Scientists can use such samples to sequence animals DNS And run chemical analyzes to detect pollutants and stable isotopes — nonessential chemical elements with different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei — in meat, Vecchione said. Isotopic analysis will provide clues to the squid’s dietary history, as will examination of the animal’s digestive tract.
Additionally, scientists can determine that the squid is based on its reproductive organs and statoliths, tiny mineralized masses that sit in sensory organs in the squid’s heads that accumulate “growth rings” over time, Vecchione said. . According to the Smithsonian, previous studies of these statues suggest the giant squid can live to be around 5 years old.
“The availability of information on giant squid is relatively poor, based either on dead or dying animals washed up or caught in commercial trawls,” Clark told News24. The newly discovered Scarborough beach squid will join the Iziko South African Museum’s collection of giant squid specimens, mostly recovered from such strandings or accidental bottom trawl catches, he said.
Originally published on Live Science.