Marine biologists stare down world’s largest eye

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Scientists are about to learn a lot more about the colossal squid, after marine biologists in New Zealand defrosted a 1,000-pound specimen caught last year. It is the largest known specimen of a species that is believed to be the largest of the squids. Weighing in at 495 kilograms, it is by no means the largest of its kind–biologists estimate the Colossal squid can grow to as much as 750 kilograms.

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Story Transcript

VOICE OF ZAA NKWETA (PRESENTER): A colossal squid caught in deep Antarctic waters last year was successfully defrosted by New Zealand scientists on Wednesday. The eight-meter-long squid, which weighs just over 1000 pounds, is the largest and best-preserved adult colossal squid ever caught. This is also the first time eyes have been recovered in tact. Measuring 10.6 inches in diameter, they are the world’s largest known eyes. Scientist Dr Steve O’Shea says that the squid is not yet even fully grown.

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Dr. STEVE O’SHEA (MARINE BIOLOGIST): I don’t really want to introduce a new cap but let’s do it anyway and let’s say perhaps the Colossus gets up to 750 kilograms. That certainly is not the largest specimen out there.

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VOICE OF NKWETA: The squid has been on ice for more than a year after being accidentally caught by a deep-sea fishing boat in February 2007. It will be examined, measured and tested before being preserved and displayed at New Zealand’s national museum. Defrosting the specimen took longer than anticipated and was not an easy task.

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O’SHEA: We’re almost there. It was a colossal headache. It’s a colossal squid. It’s one colossal headache to defrost.

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VOICE OF NKWETA: Scientists will only have up to eight hours to examine the specimen before it begins to decay. They hope to learn more about the mysterious deep-water species, which lives at a depth of over 6000 feet.

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Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.