So there’s this truck outside my building. Written on the truck is “Fresh to you.” Now I’m sure this is supposed to make me feel safe and secure in the knowledge that the food being brought is indeed fresh. However, I can’t help but take an alternate reading, a meaning which is mildly hard to convey without being able to implement tone of voice, but here goes. I feel like they’re telling me that it’s fresh to me just because I don’t know any better, more like something from a thrift store would be new to me, though actually quite old, like they’re saying, “Fresh to you … sucker!” It makes me giggle every time I see that truck.
Also, they have captured (on video) a giant squid alive in the wild for the first time ever! And they’ve put up a paper (in pdf format) about it for free online. This is super exciting, except for the fact that the poor squid struggled for 4 hours then lost a tentacle. *Ellie suddenly realizes she could never actually be a marine biologist.*
So these scientists know a lot of what they know about giant squid because they turn up in the stomachs of sperm whales. So they followed around sperm whales looking for giant squid. In addition, they rigged up a bunch of bait with hooks in it and a digital camera. This allowed them to see how the squid attacks, which is cool and brand new information. And apparently they are much more active preditors than previously speculated, striking quickly, then coiling their two longer/attack tentacles “into an irregular ball in much the same way that pythons rapidly envelop their prey within coils of their body immediately after striking.”
One other cool thing: “Giant squids are unique among cephalopods as they can hold the long tentacle shafts together with a series of small suckers and corresponding lugs along their length that enable the shafts to be ‘zipped’ together.”
From the tentacle, they estimate that this particular squid was 4.7m from head to regular arms and 8m from head to extra long arms. Of course, now we’ve got uber-mega squid, I mean Colossal Squid. The squid fact sheet gives maximum lengths for giant squid of 10-13 meters, with mantle (basically the head, not counting any arms) lengths of around 2.25m. Colossal squid have estimated mantle lengths of 2-4 meters, total length to 30 feet. There are some great pictures on that squid fact sheet, but not for you Kasha.