Blanco Taxidermy owner Jerry Ayer has been hard at work creating something new. A production company creating a documentary on giant squid contacted Ayer with a strange request: they needed a squid tentacle for a reenactment.
“Normally I have an animal to work with,” Ayer said, “but this I had to create it out of thin air.”
Ayer sculpted a tentacle out of clay (which many in town may have seen in the back of his truck), created a silicone mold, and cast the tentacle out of a different silicone. He then airbrushed silicone pigments onto the synthetic squid limb to give it a life-like appearance.
The resulting tentacle, with its inch-across suckers, is designed to be representative of a 800-kilogram (1,700-pound) squid. They come even bigger than that; there have been documented cases of sperm whales with 10-inch sucker marks.
The tentacle is on-set now in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico with divers slapping the prop against a sailboat to recreate a squid attack for the TV show. We’ll let you know when you can look for the show on Animal Planet to see a giant squid tentacle made right here in Blanco in Jerry Ayer’s shop.