Study finds giant squid could be bigger than a school bus

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A new study shows the size of giant squids may be bigger than imagination, that they could reach the size of 20 meters in total length.

The study analysed the data of beak size and the mantle length to standard and total length of the squid, estimating that squid can grow as big as 20 meters in total length, which is even longer than a school bus.

The squid beaks are often found in the digestive system of sperm whales, which is the squids’ prime predator.

“I am extrapolating here, and extrapolation can sometimes be a bit sketchy. But I think these are fairly safe extrapolations. I genuinely think that giant-squid size has been underestimated,” Charles Paxton, the author of the study and a fisheries ecologist and statistician at the University of St Andrews in Scotland told Live Science.

According to Live Science, Paxton examined 164 measures of squid mantle length, 39 measures of standard length, 47 measures of total length as wellas 46 measures of beak or mouth size in relation to mantle length.

The study was published in the Journal of Zoology.

1. A sperm whale eating a giant squid
2. The mantle size of the squid that can be handled by a sperm whale
3. The squid beak remains in the digestive system of the whale
4. Depiction of the relationship between beak size and mantle, standard and total sizes of the squid
5. Depiction of giant squid can be longer than a school bus

VOICEOVER (in English):

“Giant squid are a key staple in the diet of sperm whales. They w ere previously thought to have a maximum length of 13 meters.”

“Statistics show that large bull sperm whales can eat squid with a mantle length of at least 2.69 meters.”

“The hard, parrot-like beak of the squid often remains in the whales’ digestive system.”

“Charles Paxton, a fisheries ecologist and statistician at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, examined the relationships between the beak size and mantle length of a giant squid. Writing in the Journal of Zoology, he determined that a giant squid could grow as big as 20 meters in total length, longer than a school bus.”

SOURCES: Journal of Zoology, Live Science, RT, The Science Explorer, Te Papa, Ocean Portal