ABOUT GIANT SQUID: The name says it all. Far from supermarket calamari, specimens of giant squid have been found to be more than 40 feet long, and some people claim to have seen even larger individuals. There are over 300 different species of squid that live in the ocean, but this one has a sophisticated nervous system, and some of the largest eyes in the animal kingdom. Much of their length comes from their arms and tentacles. They move and evade predators (mostly sperm whales) by propelling water through their torsos like a jet.
PRESERVING SPECIMENS: Traditionally, the methods used to preserve animal specimens can be flammable, change color over time, or leach out the color from a specimen. The new fluid was originally developed for use in the electronics industry. It is nonflammable, nontoxic, and does not contribute to depleting the ozone layer. The fluid has very low surface tension, which allows it to spread around the entire specimen's surface, fitting into the smallest nooks and crannies.
The American Geophysical Union contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report. This report has also been produced thanks to a generous grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.