HoMe PaGe

Giant Squid

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The only known predators of adult giant squid are sperm whales, but pilot whales may also feed on them. Juveniles are preyed on by deep-sea sharks and other fish. Because sperm whales are skilled at locating giant squid, scientists have tried to observe them to study the squid. Giant squid have also been recently discovered to presumably steal food from each other; in mid-to-late October 2016, a 9 m (30 ft) giant squid washed ashore in Galicia, Spain. The squid had been photographed alive shortly before its death by a tourist named Javier Ondicol, and examination of its corpse by the Coordinators for the Study and Protection of Marine Species (CEPESMA) indicates that the squid was attacked and mortally wounded by another giant squid, losing parts of its fins, and receiving damage to its mantle, one of its gills and losing an eye. The intact nature of the specimen indicates that the giant squid managed to escape its rival by slowly retreating to shallow water, where it died of its wounds. The incident is the second to be documented among Architeuthis recorded in Spain, with the other occurring in Villaviciosa. Evidence in the form of giant squid stomach contents containing beak fragments from other giant squid in Tasmania also supports the theory that the species is at least occasionally cannibalistic. Alternatively, such squid-on-squid attacks may be a result of competition for prey. These traits are seen in the Humboldt squid as well, indicating that cannibalism in large squid may be more common than originally thought.

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