Global warming may have caused giant squid deaths
LUARCA, Spain - Global warming could be behind the mysterious deaths of giant squid off the north coast of Spain, a marine biologist said.
Experts at a marine life protection centre in the northern region of Asturias said that of the 40 giant squid recorded in the area since 1962, three had been found in the past month.
\"The increased sightings of dead giant squid could be due to various factors, from (military) manoeuvres to pollution and global warming,\" Angel Guerra, of the Spanish Institute of Scientific Research, told Reuters as he dissected one of the squid in an attempt to establish why it had died.
The giant squid, the mythical monster of the deep that attacked Captain Nemo\'s Nautilus in the Jules Verne adventure \"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea\", is believed to lurk in cool waters at a depth of between 600 and 2,300 feet (180-700 metres).
Scientists say warm water will cause a giant squid to rise to the surface and not be able to get back down, which is why they are probably more likely to be found in cooler water.
Giant squid are the world\'s largest invertebrates which can grow up to almost 60 feet (18 metres) in length and weigh up to two tonnes. No specimen of the creature, whose eyes can be as large as a human head, has ever been studied alive.
One of the giant squid the biologist was cutting up in Luarca was the first male of the species - also known as Architeuthis Dux - ever seen so far south.
\"The fact that no males had been found here could be due to the abundance of females versus males, and the fact that they live apart until they come together to reproduce in a deep shelf off the coast of Asturias,\" he said.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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