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Wednesday, 7 February, 2001, 12:41 GMT
Australian museum gets elusive giant squid

A museum in Australia has taken possession of a near-perfect specimen of one of the world's most elusive creatures -- a giant squid.

The two-hundred kilo animal, now dead and preserved in a special fluid, was caught by commercial fishermen off south-west Australia last week.

A Melbourne Museum scientist, Mark Norman, said little was known about giant squid as none had ever been seen alive.

Mr Norman said the sperm whale was the giant squid's only predator and had to dive for up to an hour to catch them in water as deep as fifteen-hundred metres.

He said the find was exciting because the oceans at such depths were almost an unknown frontier. Joking with reporters, Mr Norman said the squid could provide giant calamari rings the size of car tyres, but they'd taste like floor cleaner.

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