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A killer squid seen attacking fish in the Ross Sea last week may mark the first sighting of the world's largest and most aggressive squid species.
Till now, "the mother of all squid" was only known to science from beaks in the guts of stranded sperm whales, Auckland squid expert Steve O'Shea said yesterday.
The squid, unique for sharp swivelling hooks on its suckers, was attacking longline-hooked toothfish being winched on board a New Zealand fishing boat, he said. Fishermen gaffed the six metre-long creature and pulled it on board.
"This squid is a really nasty aggressive sort of squid . . . a gelatinous blob with seriously evil arms on it. If you fall in the water, you're history."
While at Te Papa's Buckle St collections unit, Dr O'Shea would sex the specimen, determine degree of maturity and investigate stomach contents. The squid was one of several caught on Antarctic longlines this season.