Giant squid!! (Sort of!!)

by Greg Mayer

A real giant squid, Architeuthis (from the Tree of Life).

According to the AP, giant squid have invaded California! Except that, according to the article, they’re not actually giant squid, but Humboldt squid, which don’t get nearly as large (up to about 2 meters) as real giant squid (up to about 14 meters). Fishermen in California have been reeling in the large Humboldt squid by the hundreds. Historically, their distribution was centered on the equator in the eastern Pacific, but recently they have been moving both north into California and as far as British Columbia, and south to central Chile. Despite being on the equator, the waters in their range are actually ordinarily quite cool.

We don’t normally do squid here at WEIT, but PZ occasionally does a cat, so we occasionally do a cephalopod, just to keep him on his toes. And besides, he’s in Ireland, and might miss this one.

Dosidicus gigas

Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas), base of arm (from the Tree of Life)


  1. MadScientist
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    I’m sure PZ will retaliate with kittehs; I’d imagine he’d be sore about missing such cephalopod news.

    Does anyone have some ideas why the squid are migrating? Food issue? Changing currents? They just felt like it? They’ve always done it but no one noticed because no one’s really fished there until they depleted stock elsewhere?

  2. NewEnglandBob
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    In my book, bringing up a 2 meter squid can be considered giant… and hundreds of them yet!

  3. dar
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I prefer the cthuloid relatives.

    Don’t get me wrong, kittens are evil too, I just think the squidiies taste better.

    • MadScientist
      Posted February 3, 2010 at 1:16 am | Permalink

      Little squids are yummy – big ones stink of histamines and are reputedly (by rumor – I know of no actual measurements) as tender as a car tire.

  4. SmilingAtheist
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Ha! I told you this would happen! First the brash nature in post then the turning to squid! It’s inevitable atheist + brash = squid

    PZ would be proud!

  5. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted February 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Well, I think squidelicious beats kittehlicious any time.

    Mostly because I haven’t tasted cat yet.

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