|Species|| A. dux|
The Giant squid, (genus: Architeuthis), is a deep-ocean dwelling squid in the family Architeuthidae, represented by as many as eight species. Giant squid can grow to a tremendous size (see Deep-sea gigantism): recent estimates put the maximum size at 13 m (43 ft) for females and 10 m (33 ft) for males from the posterior fins to the tip of the two long tentacles (second only to the colossal squid at an estimated 14 m (46 ft), one of the largest living organisms). The mantle is about 2 m (6.6 ft) long (more for females, less for males), and the length of the squid excluding its tentacles is about 5 m (16 ft). Claims of specimens measuring 20 m (66 ft) or more have not been scientifically documented.
On September 30 2004, researchers from the National Science Museum of Japan and the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association took the first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat. Several of the 556 photographs were released a year later. The same team successfully filmed a live adult giant squid for the first time as it was brought aboard on December 4 2006. A live adult was first filmed in its natural habitat off Chichi-jima in July 2012 by a joint NHK/Discovery Channel team. An almost intact 400 pound (180 kg.) carcass washed ashore near the Spanish community of Cantabria during October 2013.
Morphology and Anatomy
Like all squid, a giant squid has a mantle (torso), eight arms, and two longer tentacles (the longest known tentacles of any cephalopod). The arms and tentacles account for much of the squid's great length, making it much lighter than its chief predator, the sperm whale. Scientifically documented specimens have masses of hundreds, rather than thousands, of kilograms.
The elusive nature of the giant squid and its foreign appearance, often perceived as terrifying, have firmly established its place in the human imagination. Representations of the giant squid have been known from early legends of the kraken through books such as Moby-Dick and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea on to novels such as Ian Fleming's Dr. No and Peter Benchley's Beast (adapted as a film called The Beast) and modern animated television programs.
In particular, the image of a giant squid locked in battle with a sperm whale is a common one, although the squid is, in fact, the whale's prey, and not an equal combatant.