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Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History 

Natural History Highlight
 Giant Squid Resurfaces (Spring 2000)
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Photo of squid with fins

The National Museum of Natural History’s giant squid exhibit has reopened to the public after several months in storage, as major building renovations make way for a new permanent exhibit on mammals. The exhibit has been relocated to the second floor, near the hall of South American Cultures. 

Featuring one of the most elusive and mysterious animals on the planet, the interactive, multimedia exhibit highlights basic scientific research using specimens in our national collections along with a high-tech effort to find the animals in their native, deep sea habitat.  Natural History's Giant Squid Project began in earnest in 1994, with an updated giant squid display.  The exhibit became the focus of the Museum's first major educational website, Search for Giant Squid.  This and other sites follow the expeditions of  Dr. Clyde F.E. Roper (pictured below) of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Natural History's resident teuthologist (squid specialist), as he pursues his dream of being the first person to see the giant squid, Architeuthis, alive in it's deep-sea domain. 

Photo portrait of Dr. Clyde RoperDr. Roper's latest research and exploratory efforts led him to the undersea canyons off the coast of New Zealand, where a record number of giant squid specimens have been caught recently in fishing nets.   Diving into the icy cold, inky black habitat in a one-person submersible capable of diving 900 meters, Dr. Roper's expedition is the subject of a television documentary film that premiers on June 4, 2000, at 9:00 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel.  Repeat shows will air throughout June.

Right after the program's East Coast premiere on June 4, at 10:00 p.m. ET, join the Discovery.com live webcast with Dr. Roper and his wife and colleague Ingrid Roper.  The Ropers will answer as many questions from squid enthusiasts as he can live on-line during the webcast.


To learn more about the Quest for Giant Squid visit these links:

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"Natural History Highlight" features interesting and exciting activities and objects from the Museum.  We will frequently introduce new highlights that come from our research, collections, exhibits, and projects.      

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December 2005 - NMNH Webmaster