Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 19, 2002
OK, guys, you asked for it. Here's pic #1 of the Amazing GS Discovery. We challenge you to figure out...

:arrow: What this is, and
:arrow: Why it's significant

Go for it!


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Having absolutely NO experience in these things .....let me be the first to start the speculation! I think it's the stomach of a squid, with lots of contents. Can't go much further than that.

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.....I think it's an archaeological dig - a midden site - and you're looking at ~ 200 years of prehistoric mans littering/feeding. The arrows point to broken urns. Either that or it's a festering leg with tons of naggots :biggrin2:
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Short answer: I haven't a clue. :oops:

Long answer (my weak guesses :biggrin2: ): Stomach contents...and it looks like there's a bunch of calcareous "stuff" in there (or at least it looks white and glisteny and jagged like calcareous fragments). I was under the (incorrect?) impression all ceph hard parts were chitinous except for cuttlebones and nautilus shells, so I'll say not ceph parts. But if it's not...then I'm not sure what it IS. I could swear that the items with the arrows look really familar, but...I just can't think what. And maybe these aren't actually hard parts at all. :?:

Can I actually see a third "thing" that's similar to the other "arrowed things," directly above the top "thing?" If it is, well, those remind me most of some squid suckers...I think I've seen some with somewhat serrated edges near the inner rims as seen here.

But...I sure wouldn't bet money on any of, mainly, I just haven't a clue! :?

This is fun! :biggrin2:

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Steve O'Shea said:
.....I think it's an archaeological dig

Not an Archiological dig? :wink:

Indeed, Rusty, there is a third Thing of the same origin - well spotted - and probably more. As to the chitinous nature of squid parts... this is true of *most* squid (hint, hint) (also currently unpublished information).

Good guesses so far, on the right track except for one (ahem, STEVE). Any other takers?

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Wait wait wait... hold the hectocotylus here...

If those ARE shell fragments... Some few months ago before I went on my posting hiatus, Steve told me that Archis spend their time as adults in the deep water column, feeding on fish. If those ARE shell fragments, then that means: (A) They cruise around the bottom of the sea looking for food AND/OR (B).... There's a shelled, free-swimming creature in the deep water column...

Sweet Giant Anteater of Santa Anita!!

Course, I could be wrong...
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.....ok, they're not shell fragments .... but I'll not be the one to give any more clues or secrets away.....

..... that image TTF put online is the first of its kind in the world - I can assure you that nothing like it has ever been seen before. In fact it is just so amazing that we even butted heads (as geeks do) when the first cut was made and unknown white objects (and additional scrambled mass) were revealed.

Need more clues? Looks pretty grotty doesn't it :biggrin2:
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A stab in the dark, maybe, but those things look like ....teeth. That round structure to the right of the picture looks like a vertebrae.

Has this squid eaten something it really shouldn't? However.......

I reckon you have found the crushed and broken up remains of a beak and associated buccal mass of another Architeuthis, evidence for cannibalism.
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Oh My! I have noooo idea....New species???? Evidence of squid beaks within a squid??? Looks almost like suckers in areas. Thing is almost 2 feet long. Is this part of something or the whole thing???

My 5 yr. old daughtor quesses an octopus head, with squid beak parts inpaled on it???

Naggets came to mind!!!


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Well...unless they're insanely pumped about all this, they should be snug in their warm little beds right we'll have to wait a bit.

Meanwhile, with this info I guess I'll lean toward cannibalism as well...that we're looking at an Archi stomach with Archi flesh and suckers, and that the suckers are (newly discovered to be) calcareous. But you guys are so tricksy...wonder what else is up your sleeves (besides Archi slime! :biggrin2: )

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First guess

what is it: unlithified coprolite

significance: ????

Red arrows point to: Thing 1 and Thing 2.... The upper thing almost looks like part of a shark tooth, or a octopus sucker ring, and there is what appears to be a small centrum in the lower right corner of the mass.

conclusion: I don't know!!!
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In the words of the King, "A little less conversation - a little more action".

Okay... now this is supposed to be earth-shattering news right? Now, you said that it can't be BONE, since 'beak no break bone'... Cannibalism or even eating other cephs isn't that heavy, since its not that uncommon among the cephs. So... its something we haven't thought of... If that is a shark tooth, that wouldn't be too much of a surprise, UNLESS it was a new species...

Let's kick the tires and light the fires! Another photo! :lol:

Sushi and Sashimi (and no Parasitology lectures, please...) :lol:

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What would it mean if you were to find a Roman coin inside an Archi stomach caecum? How many ways could something quite unexpected be ingested? We've got something rather interesting in that mass (which, by the way, is frozen/defrosting in the image).

I recall a dissection we did here several months ago where pieces of coiled plastic thread were found within the stomach caecum of a GS. That was quite unexpected .... in fact it was pretty exciting, but it is also pretty tragic!

Try and find information on what Architeuthis eats. I've dissected quite a few of these things, and to date stomach caecum contents have revealed 1 or 2 x fish scales, ~ 5 x small and fragmented fish bones (including 2 or 3 fused vertebrae), 1 x fragment of squid skin, a fish eye lens, and the occasional parasite - not really sufficient gut contents to excite me/make me want me to spend the rest of my life determining their species ......'fish and squid' was an adequate description. Tintenfisch has now dissected ~ 11 of these animals (not bad for a few months in NZ eh... and she wants to do more - not many people have seen so many specimens), and the stomach caecum in 10 of these animals was empty. There is very little information out there on the diet of Architeuthis.

....they're not shark teeth either; guess another pic will be posted soon.
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