Indeed Joel, that's a good point. Obviousdly I have no idea, but perhaps the sleeper attacks the squid from the rear, avoiding the arms. Unless of course the sleeper is just scavenging corpses. Mind you, that would imply the shark inhabits a benthic environment at the sea bed, I've no idea if this accurate or not.
I'm going to have to look up sleeper sharks, this is all very interesting.
What a buzz!! The 'Colossal Squid' is now recognised as bigger and meaner than the 'Giant Squid' in popular press!! (even if the length of the giant squid depicted in the illustration is cited as 18m, and in text 12m).
I do like the statement that the sharks are taking larger squid (on average) than the sperm whale ....... it means that the beaks we have from whale stomachs might not be the largest beaks known (that the animal could get larger than we know ....)
.... I'll write to Yves (he's a squid beak guru; we're hoping he'll be here this year) and enquire about the citation 'Giant Squid' in Antarctic waters. Architeuthis isn't supposed to move into Antarctic waters (this could be a press booboo). Of course the blue shark is also known to take the adult Architeuthis (and I believe maybe another shark species also), but that doesn't matter - I think they're talking Mesonychoteuthis more than anything.
The actual article cites a maximum LRL of 38.8mm (mean 22.3mm) for M. hamiltoni beaks found in the sharks' stomachs. Estimated ML for the owner of that beak is 2.37 m (apparently). Based on some of the pictures of the Sepioteuthis juvies, I wouldn't be surprised to see that Messie eating the shark.
Cherel, Y. & Duhamel, G. Antarctic jaws: cephalopod prey of sharks in Kerguelen waters. Deep-Sea Research I51, 17-31 (2004).
Good point, um..., and that was my question as well. Now, Pacific sleeper sharks have been known to grow to immense size (great white size and above), but an active predator of the Messie? That sounds interesting... I mean, wouldn't a massie put up a hell of a fight?
Oh, and Steve.. Do you still think the messie is an active hunter or ambush pred like archi?
Oh, and if these are scavenged, does that mean that they may be eating the casualties left ovr after mating and egg-laying, like the Loligo die off we see off the coast in CA after mating?
Stomach contents regularly contained whole specimens of Patagonian toothfish, and discarded fish heads of that species (fishery waste), which were most likely eaten directly in trawls and scavenged at the bottom, respectively. Other prey items were demersal fishes (mainly the skates Bathyraja irrasa and B. eatonii, and the nototheniids Notothenia rossii and Lepidonotothen squamifrons), benthic invertebrates (e.g. sea stars, ophiurids) and carrion. The stomach of nine sharks contained big chunks of flesh (up to 30 kg), which, in 2 cases, were identified as belonging to fur seals (probably the Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella).
The Greenland sleeper shark is a sluggish creature which dines on active fish like char! How??
Many puzzles still to be sorted out.
Sleepers are known to be persistant feeders on waste animal material, and difficult to drive off.