The size of a squid usually does not go beyond 60 centimeters (24 in) long. However, there are some species that can reach up to 13 meters (43 ft) long. In 2003 the remains belonging to a Colossal Squid was unearthed. Scientists estimate the creature could have reached a length of 14 meters (46 ft). This would make it the
biggest squid ever found.
There are many types of squids, and many of the species are still being studied. The largest squid type is the Colossal Squid followed by the various giant squid species.
The Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni)
Also known as the Giant Cranch or Antarctic Squid, it is the largest of all squid species known. It is the lone member of the Mesonychoteuthis genus. The size of a squid belonging in this category will range from 12–14 meters (39–46 feet) long. This size is based on the estimates from various smaller specimens being studied.
On February 22, 2007, a Colossal Squid 10 m (33 ft) long and weighing 495 kg (1,091 lb) was caught. This specimen is much larger than the one caught back in 2003 which, at the time of its capture weighed 195 kilograms (430 lb).
Characteristics of the Colossal Squid
The Colossal Squid has sharp hooks on its limbs, with many of them having 3 points. By contrast, the giant squid only has teeth on its suckers. The size of a squid in this genus gives it a wider body than the giant squid. Current research shows that Colossal Squids have shorter tentacles than a giant squid, but their mantles are longer.
The eyes of the Colossal Squid are the largest in the entire animal kingdom. The squid’s range is the circumantarctic Southern Ocean. This area includes southern South America, the southern tip of New Zealand, southern South Africa and northward from Antarctica. The creature can go as deep as 2200 meters.
The Giant Squid
The giant squid belongs to the genus Architeuthis. The Architeuthidae family has eight different species of this squid. Based on studies by scientists, the female giant squid can reach a maximum length of 13 meters (43 ft). Males can reach a length of 10 meters (33 ft). This measurement is from the caudal fin up to the end of the tentacles.
The mantles of a giant squid can be 2 meters (6.6 ft) long. The mantles for females are longer for females than males. The mantles cannot exceed a length of 2.25 meters (7.4 ft) in.
Minus the tentacles, the size would be 5 meters (16 ft) lengthwise. The maximum weight is 150 kilograms (330 lb) for males and 275 kilograms (610 lb) for females. There are reports of giant squids over 66 ft long, but none of this has been scientifically proven.
The facts show that the size of a squid can vary greatly. With continued research, it is possible that other larger species may be found. Until evidence is found however, stories of 66 ft and larger squids cannot be accepted as fact.