Giant Squid

collected in 2005
Scientific Name:
Architeuthis dux

As one of the largest invertebrates in the world, the Giant Squid, Architeuthis dux, is aptly named, reaching 10-15 metres in length and nearly 900 kilograms in mass. But because this species is rather elusive, inhabiting deep, oceanic waters, it also remains one of the greatest mysteries of the ocean.

In BC, there have been only a few sightings – so this specimen, collected after washing up on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 2005, provides a valuable record confirming that the Giant Squid may be found lurking just offshore.

This particular individual is relatively moderate in size, and yet still too large to be photographed in its entirety. The beak and suckers, shown here instead, illustrate some of the unique features that characterize this deep-sea predator. Similar to other squid species, Giant Squid have eight arms and two elongated feeding tentacles. The tentacles are studded with finely serrated suckers, and when extended, enable the Giant Squid to quickly seize prey from a distance. The sharp, pointed beak is used to slice and dice. This is the stuff that the legendary Kraken is made from!