Leeds nostalgia: Baby giant squid that’s as long as a bus

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Staring down imposingly from above the store entrance at Leeds Discovery Centre, this giant monster of the deep is one of the more bizarre items on display in Leeds.

The huge model of a juvenile giant squid was created for Slime, a temporary exhibition back in 2002. When the exhibition finished, museum bosses thought the model was so inspiring, they kept it.

The model was recently highlighted during Leeds’s participation in the worldwide @Museusm52 social media showcase, which saw sites across Leeds share some of their more unusual and exciting activities and exhibits.

In nature, giant squid are believed to grow up to 43ft long and have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom- up to 27cm in diameter. Living at depths of up to 1,000m, they feed on deep sea fish using their tentacles and razor sharp beaks to catch and kill prey.

The earliest known ancestor of a modern squid is Kimberella, a tiny mollusc, which lived about 555 million years ago.

Counc Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “It’s a surprise to some people just how varied the collection we have in Leeds is but as exhibits like this spectacular model show, there are all kinds of unexpected things to be found at our sites.”

The Leeds Discovery Centre hosts visits and behind-the-scenes tours by appointment, which can be booked by contacting the centre on 0113 378 2100 or by email at discovery.centre@leeds.gov.uk

For more details, visit: www.leeds.gov.uk.

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