|Giant squid, Architeuthis sp., modified from an illustration by A.E. Verrill, 1880|
Steenstrup in Harting, 1860
|Worldwide giant squid distribution based on recovered specimens|
The giant squid (genus: Architeuthis) is a deep-ocean dwelling squid in the family Architeuthidae, represented by as many as eight species. Giant squid can grow to a tremendous size (see Deep-sea gigantism): recent estimates put the maximum size at 13 m (43 ft) for females and 10 m (33 ft) for males from the posterior fins to the tip of the two long tentacles (second only to thecolossal squid at an estimated 14 m (46 ft), one of the largest living organisms). The mantle is about 2 m (6.6 ft) long (more for females, less for males), and the length of the squid excluding its tentacles is about 5 m (16 ft). Claims of specimens measuring 20 m (66 ft) or more have not been scientifically documented.
On 30 September 2004, researchers from the National Science Museum of Japan and the Ogasawara Whale Watching Associationtook the first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat. Several of the 556 photographs were released a year later. The same team successfully filmed a live adult giant squid for the first time on 4 December 2006.