27 MAR 02: THE LARGEST
OCTOPUS EVER SEEN?
This giant squid (measuring
8 meters or about 26 feet) was hauled up from the same area in 1996.
Giant octopus caught off New Zealand
March 28, 2002 Posted: 11:07
AM EST (1607 GMT)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Reuters)
– Scientists have identified what they
believe is the largest octopus
ever seen, a four-meter (13-foot) long giant
hauled from the depths near
New Zealand’s remote Chatham Islands.
specimen, caught in a trawler’s net, was badly damaged but it was
clearly a massive animal,
said National Institute of Water and Atmospheric
Research (NIWA) marine biologist
easily have been four-plus meters (about 13 feet) in total length and
a weight of 70-75 kilograms
(154-165 pounds), if not more — it’s a very big
octopus, the size of a fully
mature male giant squid.”
had provisionally identified the specimen, caught at a depth of more than
3,000 feet (900 meters),
as Haliphron Atlanticus, a bright red, jelly-like
species of octopus not previously
found in the South Pacific.
of the species had been found in shallow northern waters, with adults
believed to live at a depth
of around 250 meters so the discovery was unusual,
extremely deep, it’s extremely large, it’s the first recorded in the South
Pacific, it may not even
be the species we’ve attributed to it at this point in
time — I’ve got a lot more
work to do on it.”
had been amazed when he relayed the details of the creature, O’Shea said.
down here in New Zealand, this is an area which is so poorly explored that
its not surprising that
we’re getting all these weird and wonderful animals.
frightening thing is that we are getting an animal like this newly reported
in New Zealand waters today
… so new and large, you’ve got to sit down and ask
yourself ‘What is it we
know about the deep sea environment?’,” O’Shea said.
are one of the most diverse creatures on earth, with several hundred
species worldwide and more
than 40 species found in New Zealand waters alone.
are a windswept group of islands around 530 miles (850 kilometers)
east of Christchurch, home
to around 800 people engaged in sheep farming and