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Japanese boffins hook giant squid

Kraken snared

By Lester Haines, 22 Dec 2006

Tsunemi Kubodera and his giant squidScientists from Japan's National Science Museum are highly pleased with themselves after hooking a 3.5-metre, 50kg "giant squid" specimen, Reuters reports.

In 2005, the same team got the first snaps of the elusive Architeuthis, which can grow up to 18-20 metres.

The team snared the female "Kraken" on 4 December using a baited hook hooked "laid 650 metres under the sea off the Ogasawara islands". They'd previously "tracked giant squid by following their biggest predators - sperm whales - as they gathered to feed".

Team leader Tsunemi Kubodera (in photo, with his prize) today premiered a video of the catch at a news conference in Tokyo. He told reporters: "Nobody has ever seen a live giant squid except fishermen. We believe these are the first ever moving pictures of a giant squid." The press was also treated to a eyeful of the squid's "formalin-preserved carcass". ®

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