The Giant Squid

The giant squid is perhaps one of the most fascinating and mysterious creatures of the sea. Since so little is known regarding this giant of the oceans, I wanted to bring it to the attention of my reading audience.

Giant squid have a most fascinating body1. The soft tissue it consists of makes for a seemingly delicate structure, but it is a fierce animal, and predatory. It feeds2 mainly on small fish, smaller species of squid, whales, and sharks.

Here are the main components that make up the squid’s body:

  • two fins, which it uses to propel itself in the water, and for buoyancy.
  • a mantle (this is the part of his anatomy nearest his head) which is used in the reproductive cycle, and mating.
  • Their head has “sophisticated” eyes, which are the largest of any animal3.
  • 8 arms and 2 tentacles, each endowed with hooks / and or sucker rings which is uses in feeding and for protection. There have been skin pieces recovered from sperm whales containing sucker ring scars on them.
  • a “beak” which it uses to eat its prey. Giant squid are technically carnivorous mollusks. The “beak” is rather fierce looking and very strong. This is needed due to the kinds of fish and other sea creatures it feeds upon.

The modern world’s largest giant squid measured in at 60 foot long! But, the average size for most squid is between 30-45 feet4. Females get bigger than males, because males reach maturity earlier.

Their natural habitat is between 1000 and 3000 feet in the ocean5. They are “deep sea” creatures, and are therefore harder to spot in their natural surroundings. The first giant squid to be caught on camera was in 20046, when a Japanese team caught the antics of a giant squid using a still camera. Since then scientists have been able to learn more about the giant squid through captive studies, and dead carcases that wash up on beaches across the globe.

Even though most of us will probably never have a “real life experience” with one of these giants of the seas, we can learn much from the intricate design which God put into this creature. Truly, our Creator has fashioned the mysterious squid to perform a specific role in the journey of life.

“Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”  So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:20-21

Footnotes:

1http://www.mnh.si.edu/cephs/newclass.pdfTaxonomy of Cephalopoda

3http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/09/0927_050927_giant_squid.html When I say “sophisticated” I am borrowing the evolutionary term to describe the intricacy of their eyes, which are, according to evolution, not supposed to be as complicated as they are. In reality, if we have a proper understanding of God’s creative order, we can grasp the fact that God created the squid with an eye similar to a humans in complicatedness. This does not mean that one evolved from the other, rather, we have a common designer – God the Creator.

4 http://tolweb.org/Architeuthis – Giant Squid in-depth article (technical)

5http://www.anomalist.com/reports/squid.html The first photographs of a giant squid were taken at a depth of around 3000 feet.

6http://pbase.asia/199675-Giant-Squid-Finally-Captured-On-Film.html Dr. Tsunemi Kubodera, and Kyoichi Mori as a team were the first to successfully capture on film the giant squid.




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