I know its been threaded to death, but Giant squid finally seen! (rant included)

Ceph fan

Apr 6, 2005
A few minor derails as we go... i know most of you have heard, but if ya haven't...

one thing i want to know is... how come marine biologists' "greatest mystery" has avoided scientists for ages and now is finally caught on tape in its natural habitat by a couple (seemingly) amateurs who used a simple lure and a digital camera? and if I read this article right, it was not too far off the coast nor too deep, when it had been almost common knowledge that Arciteuthis (sp?) lives very deep (one of the reasons it had never been seen)...

did they need to take off the arm? i know they have found body parts washed up or in the guts of whales, so what did this really accomplish? I know supposedly it won't harm the squid any (even though it won't grow it back) but can they really justify taking a piece of the first live giant squid ever seen/photographed if they have pieces of ones that had died prior? I can't see decomposition in cephalopod tissue setting in as quickly as other animal tissues... :confused:

Why hasn't this gotten more media coverage? I only discovered this almost a week after the fact and I spend what spare time i have (in uni) looking up stuff like this for interests sake. I would have expected this to be almost (if not) front page stuff!

Last but not least, i guess the hunt is now on for the colossal squid.... that or cthulthu....

edit: no insult to dr. kubodora, but i was surprised by his amateurish methods....
actually it did make the major tv networks in the US the days after i found out about it on tonmo (tues or wed i forget) and i definitely dont think dr. kubodera would exactly fall under the amateur label....

900m is pretty deep by my standards....
Ceph fan said:
How come marine biologists' "greatest mystery" has avoided scientists for ages and now is finally caught on tape in its natural habitat by a couple (seemingly) amateurs who used a simple lure and a digital camera?

Drs Kubodera and Mori had been working on this for three consecutive years, on a shoestring budget. They chose their study site based on where they knew sperm whales to be feeding (extrapolating that giant squid would be found there), but this does not necessarily guarantee the presence of Archi, as was demonstrated several years ago when scientists tried a similar approach in Kaikoura, New Zealand (an area where whales are frequently seen, but no giant squid has ever stranded or been caught). It may be just a matter of happening to finally be in the right place at the right time, or a matter of patience and persistence paying off, or both. Whatever the case, it's great that they did it, especially given their limited budget.

Ceph fan said:
Did they need to take off the arm?
To my knowledge, the tentacle snagging was accidental. They did not intend to remove any part of the squid; the tentacle got hooked and broke in the squid's attempts to free itself. Remaining attached to the hook, the tentacle was brought to the surface, where it was used to confirm the squid's ID as Architeuthis. (Now, why the bait was on a hook instead of just attached to the line via a non-snagging device, is a good question... )
Dude, with all due respect, I would hardly call these guys "amateurs", let alone be too critical of their methods. Keep in mind that most scientists don't have the vast financial resources to man these expeditions with the ideal technologies that are on the horizon. People are pissy about paying for anything that isn't immediately going to pay for itself. Its not like we can eat these beasts, so the only immediate gratification this discovery is in sating our curosity and expanding ever so slightly our knowledge of marine invertebrate systematics.

Kubodera and Mori may get a grant and some recognition, but will probably not get anything too financially rewarding. What they have done is taken the first photograph and set a new path in teuthology.

I mean, take Steve and Kat; I would SERIOUSLY doubt they have the funds to get the major kickass probes and robots to do 24/7/365 squid hunting, so they make do with what they have.

Also. I've corresponded with Dr. Kubodera, and he's pretty cool, so if you have questions about the project, you might try asking him.
Bottom line here folks is ....if you want to get rich don't go for a career in marine science...........especially not studying invertebrates!:lol: However if you want job satisfaction ( for at least ooh 5% of the time:grin: ) and you're into looooooooooooooong sessions among computers that freeze and crash, extreme pongs, the frustration of having to analyse using stats you don't really understand (ie you have masochistic tendencies!) then this is the job for you!!

(Sorry having a bad morning!:oops:)

No, if you want to get rich, the only guaranteed way is by a carreer in show business. Especially by being a rock star. Just plan on being a rock star. Or do what Rebecca and I do for a living! Hey, we're rich!

Okay, maybe we just dress that way.

Cephfan, no, I really don't think removing the tentacle was their official intention. What did this accomplish? Other than helping make a positive Archie I.D., probably nothing. I don't think the prime motivating factor was to go mutilate a living architeuthis - but sometimes you just get lucky, I guess.:wink2: Poor squid.
A lot of squid are killed and eaten by people. I'm not saying that's immoral, just that perhaps a tentacle isn't that big of a deal in the long run.

Ceph fan said:
... one thing i want to know is... how come marine biologists' "greatest mystery" has avoided scientists for ages and now is finally caught on tape in its natural habitat by a couple (seemingly) amateurs who used a simple lure and a digital camera?

Just one point; these two are anything but amateurs; they're extremely well established in their respective disciplines (Ku is a world authority on squid); I have tremendous respect for both of them.
I haven't seen the footage yet, but I've been hearing murmers about it, like you can't actually tell that the squid in the video is actually all that big. I need to see it for myself though.
Its actually good the tentacle tore off, now their is genetic evidence of the squid. If their was no evidence and just pictures it would be dismissed as a hoax by people who want to be the first to get the footage of a giant squid. Genetic evidence rules out a hoax and dispels doubt. Any way it will grow back.:smile:
squidalirium said:
Anyway it will grow back.:smile:

Well... it may grow back. I think it is likely to start regenerating, but whether it will actually grow enough to be of any use to the squid will depend on how much longer the squid lives. I don't mean to say that the loss of a tentacle will cause it to die sooner (though it certainly could, from trauma or inability to feed properly), but rather, that we don't know the lifespan of Architeuthis. So, if it has an 18-month lifepan, and if this individual was mature, I think it's unlikely to regenerate the whole tentacle before it dies. On the other hand, if the lifespan is more like 6 or 13 years (as different ageing methods may indicate), and if this was a young(ish) individual, then the tentacle may fully regenerate.
sorseress said:
Thanks for that info, I was wondering if it could regenerate. I hope it can still catch it's prey with that kind of damage. :archi:

...Or defend itself from whaleattack!

Unhand me you brute!!!


(It would be better if we had speech bubbles available)

Chrono, good question, do we know what size prey Archi generally eats?

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