The giant squid is a species of deep-ocean dwelling squid in the family Architeuthidae. It can grow to a tremendous size, offering an example of deep-sea gigantism: recent estimates put the maximum size at around 12–13 m for females and 10 m for males, from the posterior fins to the tip of the two long tentacles . The mantle of the giant squid is about 2 m long, and the length of the squid excluding its tentacles rarely exceeds 5 m . Claims of specimens measuring 20 m or more have not been scientifically documented. The number of different giant squid species has been debated, but recent genetic research suggests that only one species exists. The first images of the animal in its natural habitat were taken in 2004 by a Japanese team.
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