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Giant squid caught off Italian coast

Published: Aug. 23, 2007 at 3:18 PM
ELBA, Italy, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The first giant squid ever captured intact in Italian waters has researchers buzzing about finally being able to learn more about the rare marine animal.

The giant squid, known as architeuthis, is the first to have been found not in a decomposed state, the Italian news agency, ANSA reported Thursday.

The squid, which was caught in a deep sea net by fisherman off the island of Elba, is one and a half meters long and weighs almost 40 pounds.

"Squids travel close to the surface, so it is quite unusual that it was brought up in a deep sea net," explained Dr. Paolo Sartor of Livorno's Marine Biology Lab, which now has custody of the mollusk.

"This specimen is in excellent condition and it will be able to tell us a lot about the species," Sartor added.

Researchers said they believe the female squid was caught while laying its eggs.

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