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September 5, 2001
Squid Gate Installed at Marine Biological Laboratory Pier

Visitors to Woods Hole's Waterfront Park now have a new sculpture to enjoy as they take in the view of Great Harbor and the surrounding islands. The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) recently installed a custom-made gate designed to artistically represent one of the major biomedical research models studied by MBL scientists, the local squid, Loligo pealeii. The axons, or long nerve fibers, of the Woods Hole squid are unusually large and therefore easily studied by scientists seeking clues to a variety of diseases affecting the human nervous system. This species is also a major fishery in the northeast.

The stainless steel gate, commissioned by John and Andrea Lakian of Woods Hole and New York, was designed by the Falmouth firm of Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects and fabricated by Bob McCabe at the Woods Hole Oceanographic's machine shop and Rich Corner and his team at Cape Cod Fabrications of North Falmouth.

Stimson and his colleagues worked closely with Dr. Roger Hanlon, Director of the MBL's Marine Resources Center and an expert on squid behavior to accurately portray the animal in three typical behaviors—capturing fish, mating, and "hovering" or schooling with other squids. In all images, the squids are drawn to scale to match the body form of Loligo.

The "Squid Gate" is part of the Henry W. Klimm, Jr. Pier, which the MBL recently renamed in honor of the Laboratory's longtime squid collector. Klimm ties his fishing vessel, Loligo, to the pier.