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Archive for Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Scientists photograph giant squid for first time

September 28, 2005

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— The giant squid can be found in books and in myths, but for the first time, a team of Japanese scientists has captured one of the most mysterious creatures of the deep-sea on film in its natural habitat.

The team led by Tsunemi Kubodera, from the National Science Museum in Tokyo, tracked the 26-foot long Architeuthis as it attacked prey nearly 3,000 feet deep off the coast of Japan's Bonin islands.

"We believe this is the first time a grown giant squid has been captured on camera in its natural habitat," said Kyoichi Mori, a marine researcher who co-authored a piece in today's issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

The camera was operated by remote control during research at the end of October 2004, Mori told The Associated Press today.

Mori said the giant squid, purplish red like its smaller brethren, attacked its quarry aggressively, calling into question the image of the animal as lethargic and slow moving.

Giant squid have long attracted human fascination, appearing in myths of the ancient Greeks, as well as Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

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