Story: Octopus and squid

Thomas Kirk with a giant squid

Thomas Kirk with a giant squid

Between 1879 and 1887, four giant squid were washed up onto Cook Strait beaches. This drawing shows biologist Thomas Kirk measuring a live specimen which washed ashore at Island Bay on 6 June 1880. Kirk is holding a 3-foot (0.9-metre) measuring rule and the squid is drawn to scale: its body is 10 feet (3 m) long, 11 feet (3.3 m) in circumference, and its longest tentacles are 25 feet (7.6 m).

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Private collection
Drawing by Richard Barwick

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How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff and Steve O’Shea, 'Octopus and squid - Squid in New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/7933/thomas-kirk-with-a-giant-squid (accessed 23 September 2020)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff and Steve O’Shea, published 12 Jun 2006