Bob and Sid, the Bicephalic Squid


Sep 1, 2003

I'm a 12-year-old obsessed with squid, and this summer I found what appeared to be a two headed Loligo palei. Upon dissection (by the head vet at MBL- all the squid specialists there were thrilled) I found that Bob and Sid, the Bicephalic Squid, was in fact a small squid stuck inside the mantle of a big one. But still, an interesting thing was present. The big squid's (Bob's) organs were atrophied and shrivelled- meaning that the smaller squid (Sid) had been living there for a while before the squids were captured.

How interesting is this discovery?[/i]
A pretty sensational thing (as in VERY interesting) - as in SO interesting that I have never heard of anything like it before. Have the 'specimens' been saved/preserved and accessioned into a museum collection anywhere? Have you got any photographs of this rather bizarre beast?

Would love to know more .... am having a hard time trying to picture this.
I have still got Bob and Sid preserved in formalthehyde at my house. My mom has photos on CD at her work- I'll get them to you ASAP- and the dissection was just a slit in the mantle. How would I get Bob and Sid to a museum?

~Alex Sturbaum

PS- You DO know you're my idol, right?
How are you Alex.

Those photos would be great! 12?? I first pickled an octopus when I was 5 - my nan ('mummynanna' we called her) let me buy concentrated formalin from a chemist way back then - came in a little brown bottle - all those years ago. I tried to buy some from a chemist here a few weeks back ... and I'm not exactly 5 anymore ... and the chemist looked at me quite strangely and said they didn't stock that and what on earth did I want with it. They don't stock ethanol anymore either. Hmmmmmm - my how things have changed!

So, you have the bicephalic squid in formalin solution at home. OK - make sure the solution was about 5% and add ~ 1 teaspoon of baking soda (otherwise you'll lose those little sucker rings that arm the suckers). Formalin solution is quite acidic. Also, place a little label in that jar to say where and when you collected the squid, then date it, sign it (use pencil on good quality paper if you don't have access to any pen that writes ink that doesn't run when it's wet). Keep the jar out of direct sunlight, but it is alright to have it on a desk top. In a few weeks I would suggest that you replace the formalin solution with one of either 40% isopropyl alcohol or 70% ethanol (I think the latter is cheaper in many parts of the world, but in New Zealand it is prohibitively expensive).

You've now got the first specimens in your new museum. Keep looking at that jar and one day picture yourself working on squid or octopus for a job.

Looking forward to those pics!

Ps, most people that know me think that I should be in a hospital (tied up), but until the hairy little green people with three heads come to take me away you can find me right here.

:shock: :shock:

Alex sent me quite a few pics of Bob & Sid, and I can assure you that the bicephalic squid is for real. I have never seen anything like this in my life!

I'll quietly crawl away to go hide in a dark space ... afraid that there's a bicephalic Architeuthis or Mesonychoteuthis out there somewhere ..... I am changing my vocation and am about to go study dung beetles .... :goofysca:

Alex, I'm sure the community would love to see this accidental freak of nature (perhaps Bob and Sid images 9, 8, 6, 5, 4 and 2). I'd really like you to post those on the Research and Discovery forum - it is very exciting. Perhaps you could continue this there.

That is a priceless specimen(s); you must wonder how they fed (or helped each other).


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