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Giant squid filmed in Pacific depths

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MessagePosté le: Mar 8 Jan - 12:24 (2013)    Sujet du message: Giant squid filmed in Pacific depths Répondre en citant

Updated Tue Jan 8, 2013 6:03am AEDT
Photo: The giant squid in deep ocean near the Ogasawara islands (AFP: Handout)
Map: Japan

Scientists have captured footage of an elusive giant squid, estimated to have grown as large as eight metres long, that roams the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
Japan's National Science Museum succeeded in filming the deep-sea creature in its natural habitat for the first time, working with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and America's Discovery Channel.
The massive invertebrate is the stuff of legend, with sightings of a huge ocean-dwelling beast reported by sailors for centuries.
The creature is thought to be the genesis of the Nordic legend of Kraken, a sea monster believed to have attacked ships in waters off Scandinavia over the past millennium.
Modern-day scientists on their own Moby Dick-style search used a submersible to get them into the dark and cold depths of the northern Pacific Ocean, where at around 630 metres they managed to film a three-metre specimen.
After around 100 missions, during which they spent 400 hours in the cramped submarine, the three-man crew tracked the creature from a spot around 15 kilometres east of Chichi Island.
Photo: A video image taken from the footage shows a giant squid holding a bait squid in its arms (AFP: Handout)

Museum researcher Tsunemi Kubodera says they followed the enormous mollusc to a depth of 900 metres as it swam into the ocean abyss.
NHK showed footage of the silver-coloured creature, which had huge black eyes, as it swam against the current, holding a bait squid in its arms.
For Mr Kubodera it was the culmination of a lengthy quest for the beast.
"It was shining and so beautiful," he said.
"I was so thrilled when I saw it first-hand, but I was confident we would because we rigorously researched the areas we might find it, based on past data."
Mr Kubodera says the creature had its two longest arms missing. He estimates it would have been eight metres long if it had been whole.
He says it is the first video footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat - the depths of the sea where there is little oxygen and the weight of the water above exerts enormous pressure.
Mr Kubodera, a squid specialist, also filmed what he says was the first live video footage of a giant squid in 2006, but only from his boat after it was hooked and brought up to the surface.
"Researchers around the world have tried to film giant squid in their natural habitats, but all attempts were in vain before," he said.
"With this footage we hope to discover more about the life of the species," he said, adding that he planned to publish his findings soon.
Mr Kubodera says the two successful sightings of the squid were both in the same area around 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo, suggesting it could be a major habitat for the species.
The giant squid - Architeuthis to scientists - is sometimes described as one of the last mysteries of the ocean, being part of a world so hostile to humans that it has been little explored.
Researchers say Architeuthis eats other types of squid and grenadier, a species of fish that lives in the deep ocean. They say it can grow to be longer than 10 metres.
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