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Science Briefing

Giant squid in Gulf of Mexico

September 26, 2009|From Times Staff And Wire Reports

U.S. scientists in the Gulf of Mexico unexpectedly netted a 19.5-foot giant squid off the coast of Louisiana, the Interior Department said Monday, showing how little is known about life in the deep waters of the Gulf.

Not since 1954, when a dead giant squid was found floating off the Mississippi Delta, has the rare species been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico.

The squid, weighing 103 pounds, was caught July 30 in a trawl net more than 1,500 feet underwater. It did not survive the rapid rise to the surface and was preserved and sent to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

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