Thursday, January 13, 2011

Big Fin Squid

(Image Source)
Phylum : Mollusca
Class : Cephalopoda
Order : Teuthida
Family : Magnapinnidae
Genus : Magnapinna

Length : 5-23ft (1.5-7m)
Weight : Unknown

IUCN Status : Not listed

I'm afraid that this entry might be a short one, simply because these Squid are still so unknown to us. There are five identified species, but two are still unnammed, and all five still hang in a bit of taxonomic limbo, subject to change with any sort of breakthrough.

Big Fin Squid have been found in the deep waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. As their name denotes, they have large fins that extend outward from the mantle (their main body segment.) Big Fin Squids also have ten arms, all of about equal length and thickness. Many other squid species, in contrast, have eight shorter arms with two longer tentacles.The arms of Big Fin Squids are also typically hung at right angles, as if they have elbows.

Only larval and juvenile Big Fin Squids have actually been physically studied. Videos and images of adults have been picked up by underwater cameras and ROV's (Remotely Operated Vehicle), but because these are just images it is difficult to properly study them and even establish them as specific species. A few years ago, in 2007, an ROV owned by the Shell oil company in the Gulf of Mexico picked up an image of one of these Magnapinna species.


  1. Wow! I have never heard or seen this amazing creature. I'm a huge Cephalopod fan so thank you.

    I've posted a link to this post and your blog on mine. Hope that's ok.

    Here's the link:Big Fin Squid

    Take care

  2. Thanks for posting! I had actually heard about this guy back in 2007 when that video I posted first came out. I'm reading a book about Giant Squid right now, and this guy just resurfaced back in my brain.


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