Gigantic squid to go on show

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 10:39 06/03/2013
Megan Bosch
Emma Dangerfield

Famous in NZ: Kaikoura Aquarium owner and marine biologist Megan Bosch, dissecting the giant squid found in Kaikoura in February, said the squid would soon be on display in the Kaikoura Aquarium.

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The giant squid found floating in Kaikoura last month should be on display in the Kaikoura Aquarium by the end of next week.

Kaikoura Aquarium owner and marine biologist Megan Bosch said TV3 will be at the unveiling of the display, which is expected to take place next weekend.

Five custom-made glass containers will house different parts of the squid, including its lungs, eyes, tentacles, ovaries as well as a tube of its ink.

The squid, thought to have weighed more than 140 kilograms, would have been on display earlier if funds had been available to get the containers made, Megan said.

The glass containers had been specially designed to keep each part of the squid as still as possible in a preserving solution.

The eight metre squid, which was found floating off the coast near Shark's Tooth in South Bay on February 3, helped put Kaikoura on the map as a marine destination, Megan said.

A film crew had been at the aquarium on Sunday filming visitors interacting with the touch tank as part of a series on New Zealand's natural history.

The series, called Oceans, is to be released in January next year with one episode featuring Kaikoura.

"It's really good to see Kaikoura has become the marine face of New Zealand. It deserves to be."

A scientist at Otago University had also been in contact with Megan asking if she could have access to information from the aquarium's squid database.

"It's amazing how many people have been in touch with me because of the squid," she said. "It's attracting people from all over New Zealand."

Four people from Kaikoura had already approached Megan with their own giant squid stories, two of whom also provided photographs.

At least four giant squid had been found in Kaikoura since 1955, she said.

She is hopeful more people will contact her with information about the elusive creature so she can build up the database.

Giant squid are thought to grow up to 10m long, but live at depths that humans generally can't explore, which is why so little is known about the species.

"Little clues add up and let us work out all sorts of things."

Megan is encouraging anyone with a story, a photograph or even an old rumour to email, phone or visit her at the aquarium.

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- Kaikoura Star

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