Hypothetical situation Colossal squid interaction with white shark

The greenland shark certainly never encounters Mesonychoteuthis, being a northern Atlantic to Arctic species (while Meso is strictly Antarctic). However, Cherel & Duhamel (2003) examined 36 sleeper shark stomachs and report Meso as comprising a large proportion of the cephalopod prey (16% by number, 52% by mass), with other large prey species being Kondakovia longimana (yay onychoteuthids! Even as prey!), Taningia danae, and Architeuthis dux. C&D call the sleeper shark 'a fish with a sperm-whale-like diet' and 'the second top predator known to rely to a significant extent on giant squids.' However, they also state that '[h]ow sharks catch such giant squids remains unknown because they may either prey on live animals or scavenge on dead individuals.
Does seem unlikely that enough dead/moribund M. hamiltoni, T. danae, K. longimana and A. dux would be all swirling around together to occur so commonly in 36 stomachs though.

Cherel, Y.; Duhamel, G. 2003. Antarctic jaws: cephalopod prey of sharks in the Kerguelen waters. Deep-Sea Research I 51: 17–31.
Shouldn't forget offensive vs defensive.

The Colossal Squid lacks the basic tools to kill a large shark, whale, turtle, porpoise, chunk of cheese, or even Mr Gummy Bear. Last time I looked it didn't carry concealed weapons ... like harpoons, machine guns or knives, or a cheese board, crackers and wine.
The latter, of utmost importance! If the cheesboard would contain a nice piece of "ripe" unpasteurised Chaumes, Münster or Camembert, no great white of any persuasion would be able to resist its lure and gleefully enter the "embrace of death", that is the brachial corona of Mesonychoteuthis! Given sufficient time, even its relatively small beak might be able to get to the shark's spinal chord, eventually. You'd then have to bring A LOT of cheese, 'though :wink:
Remember a long time ago there was a picture of an Octopus squeezing the guts out of a dog shark (something similar)?


Are squids capable of dishing out squeeze power like an octopus? I thought sharks drowned if they stopped moving? (im a noob, i hope that wasn't a mytho) I have a feeling the answer is going to be no, but I'm curious. I mean just by looking at an octopus, they seem to have a body for constricting but wasn't sure if squids were capable.

*edit* Correct me if I am wrong, but I think there were deep sea photographs of some sort of deep sea squid killing a shark in National Geographic. Having trouble finding it, or maybe I am mistaken?
If you find the national geo pics, please post a link, I don't think we've seen those (that I remember, anyway).

I've heard that sharks need to keep moving for good respiration as well, but I'm not sure it's all sharks, or even that it's been proven completely.

As far as the GPO killing the shark in that example, I've always assumed (admittedly with no evidence) that it didn't kill it by constriction, but rather by severing its spinal cord, either by biting with the beak or twisting it until it broke. Since sharks don't have lungs, and are cartilaginous, I would expect they'd be pretty resisting to constriction.

BAM! Never thought I'd find it.
Some sharks need to keep moving to force water over their gills, but there are many sharks that do not. Bottom dwelling species like horn sharks, swell sharks and even nurse sharks spend a lot of time sitting on the substrate.
Danno;109548 said:

BAM! Never thought I'd find it.

Yet, you did :biggrin2:

Squid will obviously eat fish/sharks, roughly their own size, sometimes even slightly larger, your Nat Geo pic being case in point.

I guess the question raised at the start of this topic should have been 450 kg Charcharodon vs. 450kg Mesonychoteuthis.

That's three meters worth of jaws and three meters worth of mantle length.

M lacks sufficient business end, regardless, so my bets are still on ole' whitey.


Great whites seem to prefer a kill/lethal wound at first strike, one single massive bite, and then only start chomping away at the carcass once it's sufficiently dead. Not a good strategy if likely several well aimed chomps are required to take out our crimson companion...


Mackerel sharks, in contrast to bottom dwellers that actively "breathe", do require constant movement, so the immobilising/suffocation trick could actually work in this case....

I simply cannot imagine Mesonychoteuthis initiating an attack against something larger, especially the likes of a large shark or cetacean, both likely to inflict upon it a terminal wound.

I'm not entirely convinced that the images (snap shots in time) of Nototodarus 'attacking' a (very!!) small shark as posted earlier are evidence that this species eats shark either. We don't know what is happening, other than the squid 'embraced' a very small shark. Did it eat it, or was it a defensive action? We so often find squid in the stomachs of shark - and large squid at that! For all we know the squid in the earlier-posted images lost several arms as a result of its encounter with this shark, and the shark swam off, happy, only to go through a similar encounter with another squid another day(perhaps this is how small shark feed on larger squid; a painful embrace for the squid).

I've not ever seen the remains of shark in the stomach of squid, but I have so often seen squid in the stomach of shark (and other fish). Admittedly, the eye lenses of small fish can be found in squid stomachs (more correctly, stomach caecum).

What we've seen with paralarval squid is that they are quite capable of taking down prey their own size to 1.5 times their own size, but prey size decreases relative to squid size as the squid grows.
3 year old link, still up, on cephalopod predation (aot) by sleeper sharks; great sucker marks in one of the pictures, further substantiating Somniosus as an apex predator of squid and octopus.