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Giant Squid

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The Giant Squid (Architeuthis) is one of the largest squids (and invertebrate, animal without a backbone). It swims the oceans at great depths. Until 2012, when a live giant squid was filmed deep in the sea off the coast of Japan, only dead examples had been seen.

These soft-bodied cephalopods are fast-moving carnivores that catch prey with their tentacles, then poison it with a bite from beak-like jaws. They move by squirting water from the mantle through the siphon, a type of jet propulsion. The Giant Squid's only enemy is the sperm whale, who hunts it deep in the ocean.

Anatomy: The largest-known Architeuthis was 57 feet (17.5 m) long. They have eight arms, two longer feeding tentacles, a beak, a large head, and two eyes, each the size of a basketball. They breathe using gills.

Diet: Giant squid are fast-moving carnivores (meat-eaters) that catch prey (probably large marine creatures) with their two feeding tentacles, then hold the prey with the eight arms and bite it into small pieces using a parrot-like beak. The esophagus runs through the brain, so the food must be in small pieces before swallowing.

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