Those of you who have read China Miéville’s Kraken will be aware that there is something of a debate amongst squid aficionados as to which tentacled monstrosity is the true king of the high seas. China sides with the Giant Squid (genus Architeuthis, of which there are several species), which is much bigger, and apparently much more dangerous, than the violent Humboldt Squid that terrorizes the California coast. The Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) is an even bigger animal, but is generally held to be a bit of a wuss as it is believed to be more of an ambush predator than a ferocious hunter.
Over at Deep Sea News Kevin Zelnio points to recent research that appears to back up the case against Mesonychoteuthis, but Zelnio isn’t convinced and points us to this article by Mara Grunbaum defending the big guy.
I think she may have a point. You know, the tiger is an ambush predator.
Update: Via Twitter PZ Myers suggests that the true King of Squid is the Blue-Ringed Octopus, which is very small in comparison but both beautiful and deadly. Note that I am not going to argue biological classification with Prof. Myers, but here’s some reference material about cephalopod orders.