Clyde Roper

Clyde F.E. Roper

: Architheuthis (giant squid)

Country : USA

A zoologist from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, Clyde Roper has organized several expeditions in New Zealand (1997, 1999, 2003?) to observe and capture the giant squid Architeuthis. He has written about 150 scientific papers on cephalopod biology, and in 1984, with Mike Sweeney the Cephalopods of the World,

In 2004, two Japanese researchers took the first known photographs of a giant squid with a remote-controlled camera submerged 3,000 feet beneath the Pacific Ocean; the photographs were released this past September.

"I think this is really, really exciting," says Roper of the photographs and an 18-foot length of tentacle the animal left behind, "and it’s one more step in solving the mystery of the giant squid. I congratulate the [Japanese researchers]." As for devoting his career to such an elusive quest, he says he has enjoyed the chase and feels that his work—documentaries and articles, school presentations and lectures—has introduced people to this "mysterious, wonderful and real monster."

Still, Roper says he longs to see a full-grown Architeuthis feeding, mating or fighting off a sperm whale through his submersible’s porthole. "We have the tools and the know-how," he says. "Now all we need is the squid."