Colossal Squid Necropsy

tonmo

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According to the community calendar, today is the big day for Steve and Kat! They are having their colossal squid necropsy today in Wellington, NZ, together with the Discovery Canada filming crew. Hmm... they probably have to sign NDAs, assuming Discovery will want to air the footage... but whatever, tell us what you can! The calendar entry promises some photos... we're ready! :wink:
 

Jean

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Saw it on the TVNZ news on Friday night! What fun!!!!!! Even got in ahead of the sports news! :notworth:

Can either Steve or Kat tell me? Is the inner mantle really black?? Or was it ink? or an artifact of filming?

J
 

Steve O'Shea

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The inside of that mantle was rather weird Jean - I've never seen anything like it before. It most certainly was black/purple. We made one incision and then ...... my word ..... time to walk away and have a good think about things. The anatomy is quite unlike anything I've seen before.

Have to do more work (research/comparative anatomy) on that beast before having another look at it.
 

Clem

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Steve O'Shea said:
The inside of that mantle was rather weird Jean - I've never seen anything like it before... We made one incision and then ...... my word ..... time to walk away and have a good think about things... The anatomy is quite unlike anything I've seen before...


Grrrrrrr...
 

Steve O'Shea

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Sorry Clem, the intention is not to draw this out. There were two different camera crews on us at the time (long story); you have to be so careful under this sort of pressure not to say anything that you would regret later, and certainly not to make incisions everywhere in the body of the animal to try and figure things out in a hurry (once cut, the integrity of the animal is destroyed). It is a slow job figuring these things out.
Cheers
O
 

Clem

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Steve,

Yes, yes, yes, I know. However, if you really don't intend to draw things...out, then...my lord...you shouldn't...do...this...

:wink:

Clem
 

Jean

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I wonder, our colossal friend is a predator right? so maybe the dark colouration is a camouflage thing. I just wonder this because many deepwater fish have black linings to the mouth and oesophagus and the thought is that it is black to aid in ambushing prey. When I watch squid and octis as they open the mantle to take in water you get a flash of the pale inner lining, not good if you're hanging in the pitch black waiting for a toothfish to swim by........ an idea anyhow


What was that about it defaecating into the gills :yuck:

what a totally weird thing, most other squid I've seen (not that I've seen as many as our resident guru but I've seen a few!!) defaecate into the funnel and so to outside!

j
 

Steve O'Shea

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The anus opened very posterior on the surface of the digestive gland; I really wasn't prepared for that (quite some distance from the funnel). The gills had quite a remarkable structure; more work required. The nidamental glands were positioned on the lateral face of the digestive gland, dorsal to the gills (instead of along the central, ventral mid-line); they also had rather fleshy lips, reflected anteriorly over the point where the gills insert onto the visceral mass (as if the reproductive tissue had been rotated dorsally, to lie atop the digestive gland). More work required; I am uncomfortable mentioning this much.
Cheers
O
 

WhiteKiboko

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Clem said:
Yes, yes, yes, I know. However, if you really don't intend to draw things...out, then...my lord...you shouldn't...do...this...
Clem

is that out of frustration, or were you trying for a capt. kirk impression?


:cthulhu: :heart: :beer:
 

Clem

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WK,

The Shatnerian resonance was unintentional. Dr. Steve likes to build suspense with the liberal use of...tantalizing fragments...separated by...three periods. It has a 2001 "My God...it's full of stars..." quality about it.

:heee:

Clem
 

Steve O'Shea

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...that might be true, but it is ... ummm ... unintentional :smile:

Having said that, did I tell you about the ... hold on ... would love to tell you but it might be ... hmmmm ... premature to do so. Maybe tomorrow. Really would love to spill the beans now ... but ... you know. :wink: ... have to have something to post tomorrow
 

frank h.

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Mesonychoteuthis anatomy

Dear all

I am very new to this site, and this is my first post, so please forgive me if I'm going over old ground.

[I was a professional biologist many years ago, mainly in genetics and evolutionary biology, but I never worked on cephalopods. I am now a Chaplain (Christian) at South Bank University in London, England, and am doing some part-time lecturing and tutoring to students on various biological courses. My knowledge of cephs. is minimal, but I hope to learn a lot more from the various experts posting on this site]

A dormant interest in cephs. being reawakened by the recent reports in the media on Mesonychoteuthis, I was very glad to find this website, and also the Tree of Life website.

From Kat Bolstad's article on "Deep Sea Cephalopods" on this site, I learn that the gut of Architeuthis dux has a maximum relaxed diameter of only 10mm. Is the implication here that Architeuthis can only eat relatively small prey?

What is known about the gut of Mesonychoteuthis? Is it much wider in diameter than that of Architeuthis?

Is there any real evidence as to the lifespan of these large squids? I read somewhere that cephalopods as a whole seem to have short lifespans, and that a very rapid growth rate is thereby implied for Architeuthis. What about Mesonychoteuthis?

There is a general rule that prey species are shorter-lived, and much more fecund, than their predators. It has been reported that the Patagonian Toothfish, which seems to be a very long-lived species, is a major part of the diet of Mesonychoteuthis. This might indicate that Meso. has a considerably longer basic life span than is typical for cephalopods.

Best wishes to all on this site.

Frank
 

WhiteKiboko

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Re: Mesonychoteuthis anatomy

frank h. said:
From Kat Bolstad's article on "Deep Sea Cephalopods" on this site, I learn that the gut of Architeuthis dux has a maximum relaxed diameter of only 10mm. Is the implication here that Architeuthis can only eat relatively small prey?

well, im just about as far from an expert there is on this board but, the prey is going to be shredded fairly small by the time it gets past the radula... i cant remember, but you might want to check the "challenge" thread in phys and bio, that involved stomach contents of archi...

my attempt at quasi intellectual conversation :smile:
 
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