Globe's giant squids may be single species

March 19, 2013 at 9:47 PM
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COPENHAGEN, Denmark, March 19 (UPI) -- A finding of exceptionally low genetic diversity suggests all giant squid worldwide are members of a single species, Danish researchers say.

A study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B reported on DNA studies of the globe-trotting giant squid, which can grow as big as 43 feet long.

"These observations are consistent with the hypotheses that there is only one global species of giant squid, Architeuthis dux," researcher Inger Winkelmann and colleagues wrote, suggesting the squid could have one of the largest known ranges of any species.

Winkelmann of the University of Copenhagen's Natural History Museum of Denmark and colleagues studied DNA in tissue samples from 43 giant squid, most found stranded on beaches or discovered floating dead on the water's surface, reported Tuesday.

The samples came from squid recovered in waters off California, Florida, Spain, Japan and New Zealand, and all showed the same genomic makeup.

If there is in fact just one giant squid species it is evidence adults must be capable of traveling huge distances, the researchers said.

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