An inside job
Our Natural Sciences team got the rare opportunity to dissect a massive 100kg squid, answering in the process some longstanding questions and presenting some new mysteries, too.
The deep-sea dweller was caught (already deceased) by a fishing vessel off Whakaari (White Island), and while it was originally reported to be a giant squid, it is in fact a large octopus squid. This specimen has been identified as Taningia fimbria, which is one of the largest identified squid species. This animal has amazing photophores (bioluminescent light-producing organs) on two of the arms, as well as about 200 cat-like claws.
Alongside teams from Waikato University, Massey University and Auckland University of Technology, our scientists will use what they've discovered through the dissection to learn not just about the squid itself but also its environment and, for example, whether the waters around Whakaari were affected by toxicity after last year’s eruption.