Wellington, New Zealand (AHN) — Marine biologists in New Zealand are thawing out a 1,000 pound squid from a huge ice block in order to study it. The analysis of the 1,089-pound, 26-foot long colossal squid, set to begin Wednesday, will help determine how the creatures live and breed.
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa will broadcast the thawing and examination live on the Internet.
Researchers will study the contents of the squid’s stomach to see exactly what it ate. The scientists will also try to determine the creature’s gender.
Steve O’Shea, a squid expert at Auckland’s University of Technology told BBC news, “If we get ourselves a male it will be the first reported (scientific) description of the male of the species.” O’Shea is among the scientific team of 10.
Not much is known about colossal squid as only about 10 specimens have ever been caught and brought to shore.
The squid was removed from the freezer on Monday after scientists figured out the best way to thaw the creature without damaging it. The corpse of the squid will be studied for a few days before putting it on display in a tank of propylene glycol preservative.
The Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni specimen was caught in February 2007 in the Ross Sea off Antarctica.