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: recent estimates put the maximum size at 13 meters (43 ft) for females and 10 meters (33 ft) for males from caudal fin to the tip of the two long tentacles (second only to the colossal squid at an estimated 14 meters (46 ft), one of the largest living organisms). Like all squid, a giant squid has a mantle (torso), eight arms, and two longer tentacles (the longest known tentacles of any cephalopod). Their diet likely consists of fish, shrimp, and other squid, and some suggest they might even attack and eat small whales. Giant squid, along with their cousin, the colossal squid, have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom, measuring some 10 inches (25 centimeters) in diameter. These massive organs allow them to detect objects in the lightless depths where most other animals would see nothing. In 2004 researchers in Japan took the first images ever of a live giant squid. And in late 2006, scientists with Japan's National Science Museum caught and brought to the surface a live 24-foot (7-meter) female giant squid.
|beak of giant squid|
|two long tentacles|
|In this photo released by Tsunemi Kubodera, a researcher with Japan's National Science Museum, a giant squid attacking a bait squid is pulled up by his research team off the Ogasawara Islands, south of Tokyo, on December 4, 2006.|