Giant Squid Takes On New York

Scientists at New York's American Museum of Natural History are getting a rare, close-up look at what many would call a real-life monster, a giant squid.

Giant squid are among the rarest specimens found. This one,a male which is also rare, was caught off the coast of New Zealand and shipped frozen to New York under the label of "seafood".
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Scientists at the museum anxiously awaited the arrival of the giant squid from Kennedy International Airport. Dr. Neil Landman, curator of invertebrates, told The New York Times that "It's tremendously exciting. To have a look at an actual giant squid is a dream I've always had. It's gorgeous."

Of all the strange creatures of the earth, none is more mysterious then the giant squid. Scientists have never seen one alive and healthy in its native habitat. They are unaware of what they eat, what depths they live at, how they breed, and how fast they grow.

However, what scientists do know is that the giant squid's prey does not have a chance. The last thing the prey animal sees is the beak opening up like a parrot's jaw.

Altogether, the giant squid extends about twenty-five feet from tip to tip. Had it lived, this one could have grown to 60 feet with 10 tentacles as long as school buses. The Times also reported that their enormous eyes are apparently the largest in the animal kingdom, sometimes the size of dinner plates.

Scientists at the museum are eager to study their newest aquisition."It's the best specimen we've (the museum) had," commented Steven O'Shea, a marine biologist who accompanied the giant squid on its trip to the Big Apple. "It's not the largest, but it's the best," Shea told The Times.
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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