UNH Marine Program

Citizens for a Seacoast Aquarium

Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History


Giant Squid Expert Speaks at UNH April 17

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

April 10, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire Marine Program and Citizens for a Seacoast Aquarium are hosting Clyde Roper, an international expert on giant squid, Wednesday, April 17.

A free public lecture will be held at 7 p.m. in Room 118-120 of the Spaulding Life Sciences Building. A reception will immediately follow.

Roper, who is originally from Rye, has traveled the world researching the elusive giant squid. His work has been the subject of television specials by National Geographic Explorer and the Discovery Channel.

Roper, a zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., will offer insights into the myths and mysteries surrounding one of the ocean's largest and most misunderstood creatures. The animal, including its tentacles, can measure 60 feet long and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Its eyes are bigger than automobile headlights and its hundreds of suckers, which include tiny teeth, can be two inches across.

For this reason, when first glimpsed by sailors and fishermen, giant squid were often thought to be sea monsters. Hollywood fueled that legend, and images of giant squid attacking ships have remained part of the lore surrounding the animal. Because giant squid live at great depths, interaction with humans is rare, and this shortage of firsthand knowledge adds to its mystery.

For more information, call (603) 436-7778 or 749-1565.

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