The largest colossal squid ever landed is being defrosted today, and the big unfreeze can be watched on Te Papa's webcams.
Little is known about these rare creatures, and scientists hope to discover more by dissecting this specimen.
The 10 metre long squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, weighs more than half a tonne and has been squeezed into a 1.5 metre cubed box, fishing net and all.
It was caught by the New Zealand fishing boat the San Aspiring in Antarctic waters last year.
"With this specimen, we have to remove the container around it, manoeuvre the frozen squid in to the defrosting tank, then carefully remove the net as it defrosts - a very delicate procedure," said Dr Carol Diebel, Te Papa’s Natural Environment Director.
Te Papa estimated the defrosting would take about 36 hours.
The webcast can also be seen in Te Papa's Discovery Centres and Te Aka Matua Library and Information Centre.
A series of lectures by the scientists commence on Thursday 1 May from 11am in Soundings Theatre including a special lecture by Dr Steve O'Shea about the dissection at 6.30pm in Espresso on Level 4.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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