Giant squids use their funnel as a propulsion system, drawing water into the mantle and forcing it out the back.
Giant squids use their funnel as a propulsion system, drawing water into the mantle and forcing it out the back.
Photograph by Reinhard Dirscherl, Alamy

Giant Squid

The giant squid is massive and when full grown can be at least 33 feet (10 meters) long. These mysterious eight-armed creatures are rarely seen by humans. Most of what we know about them comes from finding them washed up on beaches.

Common Name:
Giant Squid
Scientific Name:
Architeuthis dux
Type:
Invertebrates
Diet:
Carnivore
Group Name:
School
Size:
33 feet
Weight:
440 pounds

The largest of these hard-to-find giants ever found measured 59 feet (18 meters) in length and weighed nearly a ton (900 kilograms). Giant squid, along with their cousin, the colossal squid, have beach-ball size eyes! Their eyes are the largest eyes in the animal kingdom and are about 10 inches (25 centimeters) in diameter. Their big eyes help them to spy objects in dark depths where most other animals would see nothing. Like other squid species, they have eight arms and two longer whiplike tentacles that help them bring food to their beaklike mouths.

Their diet likely consists of fish, shrimp, and other squid, and some suggest they might even attack and eat small whales. They maneuver their massive bodies with fins that seem too small for the rest of their bodies. They use their funnel as a propulsion system, drawing water into the mantle, or main part of the body, and forcing it out the back.