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Real Oregon Coast Rarity: Never Before Seen Clubhook Squid Washes Up

Published 07/28/2018 at 3:52 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Real Oregon Coast Rarity: Never Before Seen Clubhook Squid Washes Up

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – A real rarity washed up on a north Oregon coast beach on Friday, with the crew from Seaside Aquarium responding to a report of a 10-foot clubhook squid just south of Cannon Beach. (Photo by Allysa Casteel / Seaside Aquarium).

Not much is known about this kind of squid, except that it certainly isn’t common off the waters of the Oregon coast. It’s mostly known to be in the warmer parts of the Pacific between California and Japan.

“It’s the first I’ve ever seen,” said Seaside Aquarium manager Keith Chandler.

The aquarium’s head curator Tiffany Boothe said the creature was 90 pounds and had washed up at Silver Point, which is where the big lookouts are just south of Cannon Beach. It’s commonly known as a robust clubhook squid (Onykia robusta).

“It had been dead for a little while and some scavenging had occurred, but all in all it was in pretty good shape,” Boothe said. “Little is known about the life history of these amazing giants, so we were very exited to be able to get a closer look.”

The squid’s mantle – the body-like area – was four feet in length. While this one was just over 10 feet long, they can get to 12 feet in length. Boothe said the robust clubhook is the third largest squid, with the colossal squid and the giant squid able to grow up to and beyond 30 feet long.

The clubhook squid is often mistaken for the Humboldt squid, which can get almost as large.


“The squid had died before washing ashore and some scavenging had taken place,” Boothe said. “Luckily it still had its beak, which is what we are looking at in this photograph. The squid had eight arms and two long tentacles. Each arm was laced with 50-60 suckers.”

This type of squid has led a slightly confusing existence in the annals of science. It was in recent years reclassified and given a different scientific name, formerly known as Moroteuthis robusta. It is known as an important prey in the diet of sperm whales.

Boothe took the opportunity to do a bit of public dissecting of the creature, showing off its innards to a small crowd on the beaches nearby.

Inside the Seaside Aquarium there is a preserved body of a just such a squid on display, one that washed up near Seattle long ago. That one is nine feet, however. The aquarium has had it on loan from the Seattle Aquarium for about 20 years. Oregon Coast Lodgings in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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Below: Humboldt Squid photos from Whale's Tail Charters on the central Oregon coast:




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