a1 Aquaculture Development Centre, Department of Zoology, University College, Cork, Ireland.
a2 Department of Zoology, Aberdeen University, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ.
a3 Centro Oceanografico de Canarias, Cra. San Andres s/n, 38120, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. E-mail: [email protected]
Three specimens of the giant squid Architeuthis were by-caught in demersal trawls to the west of Ireland, between April and June 1995. All three specimens were mature males, of mantle length 975–1084 mm. Although some intraspecific variation in fin, beak and gill were noticed, all three specimens were tentatively assigned to the species A. dux. The three specimens had food remains in their stomachs and food items identified included Micromesistius poutassou, Trachurus trachurus, Nephrops norvegicus and Eledone cirrhosa. Age estimates were made by counting putative daily growth increments in ground statoliths, and ranged from 294–122 d, giving percentage daily growth rates of 2·96–4·25% indicating a short life cycle and extremely rapid growth.