Sharks With a Taste For Giant Squid

18 January 2004


Researchers announced recently that some giant sharks are partial to snacking on colossal squid, mysterious deep-sea beasts that we know hardly anything about and which are probably the responsible for legends of giant monsters attacking sailors in days gone by. Specimens of sleeper sharks, which live in deep waters off Antarctica, have been found with lots of deep-sea squid in their stomachs making them only the second animal, after sperm whales, known to regularly eat this species of squid. The colossal squid can be so big - at least 14 m long - that scientists are at a loss to explain how the smaller sharks, which are only about 7m long, can catch them witohut succumbing to their powerful tentacles and strong beak. Sperm whales are often found bearing scars and scratches following fights with giant squid, but no similar marks have been found on the sleeper sharks, suggesting that maybe they catch only baby squid, or scavenge adult squid that are already dead.


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