Giant squid expanding their dominance of the eastern Pacific
Sun, 08 Mar 2009 12:00a.m.
Off the California coast it has been getting harder to catch big fish like salmon but a whole lot easier to hook a deep sea monster - the Humboldt Squid.
This huge tentacled creature grows to 185cm long, can weigh up to a 45kg, and watch out for that dangerous beak. In the Pacific there has been a population boom.
Bruce Robison of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute uses an unmanned submarine to study the giant species where it hunts.
"They squirt ink and grab anything in sight," he says.
The squid's usual territory from Chile to Mexico has expanded dramatically over the last seven years. Once rarely seen off California, they are now strong-arming their way toward dominance.
"This is an extraordinarily rapid change," says Mr Robison.
The betting is that this population explosion of giant squid is somehow related to global warming, but exactly what is going on remains a mystery of the deep.
"It seems to be succeeding as the climate's changing," says William Gilly, Stanford University.
Mr Gilly says one thing is for sure the squid are not picky eaters.
"They can pretty much eat anything they want," he says.
And right now, millions of them are consuming whatever they can find off the California coast, even salmon. As the squid eat what we like to eat, our menu may change.
"You will get accustomed to eating less salmon and more squid - I can guarantee that," says Mr Gilly.
For fishermen that means the tug on the end of the line may have tentacles instead of fins.
"They are big, and they fight hard," says Mr Robison.
Our one defence against this giant squid invasion may be to eat them as quickly as they are eating everything else.
CBS / 3 News
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
The Whakatane Beacon has joined the Ashburton Guardian and the NBR in charging people who want to read its website.
Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield return in survival horror Resident Evil: Revelations, out now for home consoles.
Live-action trailer for Destiny directed by Jon Favreau and starring Giancarlo Esposito.
An Auckland car dealership has been sentenced for what Trade Me has called the biggest ghost bidding scam in the auction site's history.
In a medical first, doctors used plastic particles and a 3D laser printer to create an airway splint to save the life of a baby boy.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.