The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Tuesday, January 19, 2021


Giant squid gets makeover before showtime
Head taxidermist at the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle Christophe Gottini (R) carries out a restoration work on a giant squid at the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle's (French National Museum of Natural History) taxidermy workshop in Paris on March 12, 2019. The exhibition "Ocean, an unusual dive" will be held from April 3, 2019 to January 5, 2020 at the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution (Great Gallery of Evolution) of the French National Museum of Natural History in Paris. Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP.

by Laurence Coustal



PARIS (AFP).- A little elbow grease, some formaldehyde, and a lot of ingenuity -- that's what it took for taxidermists at the Museum of Natural History to prettify a giant squid along with a coelacanth, a rare fish known as the "living fossil".

Six metres (20 feet) long -- not counting its tentacles -- and weighing in at 80 kilos (180 pounds), the squid, nicknamed "Wheke", hangs from a workshop during a recent visit, suspended on a pulley.

"It's the real thing!", enthused Christophe Gottini, who has been primping and plumping inert creatures at the museum for nearly half-a-century.

"Aside from the eyes, which are not right at all," he added disapprovingly, knowing he still had time to get it right.

"The squid looks as if it's having a psychotic episode."

Before becoming a permanent exhibit, this dainty specimen -- the largest grow up to 18 metres -- lived off the coast of New Zealand, where it was caught in 2000.

Stuffing an animal skin with a foam rubber replica -- the classic method -- doesn't work for squids, so Gottini opted for plastification, a technique perfected in Italy.

Next up is the coelacanth, not one of the prettiest creatures on the planet.

They stink too, exuding a foul oil that makes them inedible.

Related to lungfish, coelacanths were long thought to have disappeared with the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, some 66 million years ago.

But in 1938 an angler caught one off the coast of South Africa.

Because that specimen matched fossils dating back several hundred million years, it became known as the "living fossil". It was a further two decades before any more coelacanths were discovered.

Other species have now been discovered, showing that the fish has in fact evolved since then.

The coelacanth under Gottini's care was in need of a serious makeover.

The fish had spent 60 years in a tub of formaldehyde after scientists had removed its innards for research.

They had not treated it gently.

Long known to paleontologists, coelacanths are considered a kind of gap species between fish and the earliest tetrapods, which climbed out of the oceans to become Earth's first terrestrial vertebrates.

Giant squids, by contrast, are almost certainly the largest of invertebrates, or animals without a backbone.

Architeuthis dux likewise has the biggest eyes -- the size of dinner plates -- of any known creature.

Their eight arms and two tentacles are lined with two rows of suckers, each with razor-sharp rings of chitin, the stuff of which insect exoskeletons are made.

They latch onto prey with their feeding tentacles, pulling victims towards a powerful beak.

Like other squid species, A. dux can squirt jet-black ink to scare off or confuse predators.

Wheke and his nameless companion will be on display in Paris at the museum's Grand Hall of Evolution from April 3 to January 5, 2020.


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

March 21, 2019

Asia Week New York celebrates its 10th anniversary

Major UK gallery drops donation due to opioid links

Gagosian opens an exhibition of new works by Robert Therrien

New York's MoMA sells rare Picasso drawing in Paris

Giant squid gets makeover before showtime

Christie's announces Magnificent Jewels sale in New York

Bodleian Libraries digital collaboration brings German manuscripts from medieval monasteries to life

Dallas Museum of Art's Anna Katherine Brodbeck named Senior Curator of Contemporary Art

Mexican imprints & manuscript material leads Swann Americana Auction

Most ambitious U.S. exhibition of Ursula von Rydingsvard's influential recent work opens in Washington

Toomey & Co. Auctioneers has strong bidder interest in first 'Art & Design' sale of 2019

Guild Hall announces the launch of the museum's digitized permanent collection

Ketterer Kunst announces first Rare Books Online-Only Auction

Musicians brace for Brexit disharmony

Original comic art, toys and historic Americana generate $1.26M at Hake's March 13-14 auction

Neuberger Museum of Art announces 2019 winner of the Roy R. Neuberger Prize

Praz-Delavallade opens Pierre Ardouvin's first solo show in Los Angeles

The Queen's House, Greenwich presents new commission by Susan Derges

House on Lützowplatz opens Global National: Art on Right-Wing Populism curated by Raimar Stange

The Goss-Michael Foundation opens 'Marc Quinn: History & Chaos '

The Empty Quarter Gallery presents photographs taken in 1962 by Japanese photographer Y. Kawashima

Sander Breure and Witte van Hulzen populate Marres with sculptures and molded portraits

1936 Bentley once owned by war hero who bombed Hitler sold for £453,250

Mighty V-Twins prepare to conquer Bonhams Spring Stafford sale




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful