This is a soft-bodied mollusc related to the octopus, but with a long body and two more arms. The body extends into a broad flange on each side, and under the skin down the middle there is a membranous shell remnant very like a feather in shape. The body of this squid grows to about a foot in length, but some veritable giants of other species have been found in New Zealand waters. One of these, Architeuthis longimanus, 57 ft in total length, was washed ashore at Lyall Bay, Wellington, in 1881.
At times during June and July giant squids are seen off Cape Campbell, Marlborough. They apparently live in deep water and are often attacked by sperm whales.
The cuttle-fish resembles the squid except for the more solid internal shell remnant, or cuttle-bone. Living cuttle-fish have not been found in New Zealand seas.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.