"If it is skin of squid rather than a big intact sheet like that, you would expect to see some indication that it once had arms or tentaclesand I dont see anything that speaks to that," he said. "And for just a body of a squid to be that big, then you are talking about a squid that is larger than any known to man. That seems less likely to me than whale skin."
Cabrera said that she does not believe the blob is a whale because the texture, smell, and coloring are different from known decomposing whales.
"We also consulted experts from the National Museum of Natural History that confirmed to us that when a whale decomposes at sea, the smell and texture of its blubber and skin are still recognizable," she said.
William Gilly, a professor of biological sciences at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who has studied the behavior and biology of squid for more than two decades, said that the creature as described in news reports was a mystery to him, but that it could be a giant squid.
"Over the last few years they've found several big sorts of new species of squid that were surprises or extra-colossal-size specimens of species previously known," he said.
There is much to be learned about giant squid, said Gilly. For example, little is known about their habits. Scientists with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC suspect that giant squid mostly live at depths of 660 to 2,300 feet (200 to 700 meters).
Even the life history of species such as the Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas), which Gilly says are caught all the time as bycatch by commercial fishing fleets but also are a targeted fishery in Mexico, Peru, and central America is poorly known.
National Geographic Ultimate Explorer correspondent Mireya Mayor joined Gilly and cameraman Bob Cranston in pursuit of the elusive giant Humboldt squid in the Gulf of California. Their investigation is the subject of a documetary Devils of the Deep, which premieres on July 27 on MSNBC.
Humboldt squid are described as aggressive predators that can reach six feet (two meters) long and are equipped with powerful arms and tentacles, excellent underwater vision, and a razor-sharp beak that tears through the flesh of their prey.
The squid can also rapidly change their skin color in what appears to be a complex communication system that, like much of these elusive creatures' natural history, remains a mystery to scientists.
"There are many mysteries in the sea, especially when you get away from the surface [or] the shore," said Gilly.
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