Behaviour and Life Cycle of the Colossal Squid

It is rather incredible that a creature that has the word 'colossal' preceding it's name is actually extremely hard to find, but in the case of the colossal squid it is 100% true, with them only been discovered recently and the fact that they are still extremely rare. The behaviour and life cycle of this quite amazing and almost super natural looking creature is therefore shrouded in mystery and this is not only because they are hard to find but because their habitat lies at the bottom of the ocean which means surveillance is extremely hard, with them often residing much lower than most scuba diver's would dare to go.

The creature has indeed earned its name. Females may grow to up to 13 metres in length, while males are smaller, which is common in many invertebrates, at just 10 metres in length. The largest of the species are claimed to be even larger, but like much of people's understanding of the colossal squid, this is again shrouded in mystery. This type of squid is well known for being the largest invertebrate to inhabit the oceans. It is not to be confused with the giant squid and although similar in many ways, such as the diet of smaller fish or basically anything it can find at such deep depths, the colossal squid is an entirely different species. The shape and body of the creature is slightly different to the giant squid. The head of the squid is much wider on the colossal squid than it is on the giant squid but the two species have 3 distinct parts of the body, the head, the mantle, which is the main body of the fin and of course the well known tentacle part of the creature.

The reproduction process of the creature is yet again unknown, however it has been inferred that the squid does have a penis and lays eggs as opposed to giving birth to live young, which is much like the giant squid and many other squids that more information has been collected from. Despite its size, the creature does have many predators in the dark, deep oceans and it is because of this that it was first discovered all the way back in 1925. Tentacles of the enormous creature were first found in the belly of a sperm whales stomach that was caught. Sperm whales are one of the main predators and their entire diet is thought to consist of around three quarters of the creature. However, they are not the only sea creature that enjoys a bit of tasty squid.

The toothfish is also one of the main predators as these too reside at similar depths and it was in fact, when fisherman were out fishing for toothfish that led to the first ever member of the species being caught. This chance event really was a step forward in looking into things like the life cycle, behaviour and general anatomy of a creature that before this, little was known. Only 8 of the animals have ever been found and 6 of these were actually found inside another animals stomach, a tell tale sign being their beaks, which many predators find indigestible. This could well be the reason why their behaviour and life cycle is still mysterious, even in this golden age of science and technology.