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Last Updated: Tuesday February 28 2006 15:28 GMT

Giant squid put on show at museum

A giant squid at the Natural History Museum in London
Curators at the Natural History Museum in London have made room for one of the biggest animals on Earth.

The 8.62m (28ft) long giant squid was caught last year and has been put in a special glass tank at the museum.

Not much is known about giant squid as they live in very, very deep water and are rarely seen.

They have eight very thick arms and two extra long tentacles they use to catch their prey with, as well as the largest eyes of any animal.

The squid at the museum has been nicknamed Archie, after its very complicated Latin name, Architeuthis dux.

Size comparison for a giant squid
It's taken staff several months to get the squid ready for display, before putting it in its specially-made glass cabinet, filled with chemicals to preserve it.

To find the right people to make the case the museum had to go to an unusual source, artist Damien Hirst.

He's really well known for putting dead animals in big glass cases to make his works of art, and the people who made those came up with one the right size for Archie too.

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