Leeds Discovery Centre
The giant squid model at Leeds Discovery Centre
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Leeds Museums and Galleries object of the week- Giant squid model

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 that looked at some of the facts and myths behind slugs, snails and molluscs.

When the exhibition finished, museum bosses thought the model was such an inspiring piece, they relocated it to the Discovery Centre, where it now takes pride of place.

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 43 feet 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.

Councillor 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.

“Items like this really help to bring history and the natural world to life and give some perspective about the incredible diversity of creatures in the world, many of which we may never see in the flesh.”

The Leeds Discovery Centre is a state-of-the-art museum storage facility which preserves and protects Leeds Museums and Galleries collections.

It 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: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries

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