Thanks, Steve -
I'm going to try to get a camera in my lab next week to take some pictures of mine as well. I'm pulling beaks out of fairly intact squids that I'm keying to Brachioteuthidae (using FAO), and the beaks key to Histioteuthidae or Brachioteuthidae depending on if the lateral wall has a fin or ridge (respectively). If I have a whole squid, then no problem, I know that's a ridge. But for my loose beaks (I have 100's), it's sort of a toss-up sometimes whether I call it a ridge or fin (even cutting the lateral wall - especially if they are small. I think that Histioteuthidae may have a broad notch in the hood whereas Brachioteuthidae does not, but I'm not sure. Enoploteuthidae and Lycoteuthidae can complicate things, but I think I have those down. My id's are only to family, so taxonomic problems within families aren't too much of a problem.
It seems there should be more information about Brachioteuthidae ... they seem to be pretty common in my tuna guts ... unless I'm way off with my id's. I always do the body first, though, and the beak follows suit, so I'm getting more confident about it.
Thanks for the offer ... don't let me sidetrack you though! I'd feel bad if you spent too much time on it. I was sort of expecting that there was some obvious source out there that I wasn't finding.
Do you know if anyone's planning another beak workshop or book? I worked breifly with fish otoliths and found that much more information existed for them than it seems there is for squid beaks. Clarke's done such great work with his handbook, but we need perhaps some regional atlases of beaks. Kind of strange ... I never thought I'd be all that interested in this stuff. I'm a animal-behavior / evolutionary ecology type. I always wondered how anyone could stand describing bits and pieces of animals in a museum somewhere. I guess it starts by thinking that someone should really get some reference material out there, then you get more and more interested in that reference material until you decide to do it yourself. Then you're a goner, huh?