Ooh la la! Beaky French kissing! This seems like great work, since so much about cephs is extrapolated from beaks, the more we can extrapolate to the whole animal from the beak, the better. Are Moroteuthis unusual in that so much can be told from the beaks, or is this just the particular example you looked at?
Mmmm yeah, all that radular grinding! A couple things coincided to cause the penny drop moments of this paper; one was the collection of ~500 M. ingens beaks, all with this weird erosion, together in the sperm whale stomach, plus those interlocked ones. Another was that I was redescribing the morphology of all the NZ onychoteuthid beaks so I was checking a few specimens at a time for continuity and it became obvious quickly that the males and females were very different. As for the mating thing, well, it was the only good explanation for why submature individuals didn't have the signature breakages, while mature ones did, AND why the breakage pattern was specific to male or female individuals. Felipe (leewayducks on TONMO) and I had a couple of interesting discussions that refined the theory, and then... viola!
More good news - I just heard that the paper I presented at CIAC in February (on the NZ onychoteuthid fauna, 60 pages long and representing the first 1/4 of my thesis) will be accepted following three very minor changes! The ingens paper was satisfying, but now I really feel like I'm getting somewhere...
I'm a little confused, though-- does that mean it was accepted in the role of thesis, or in the role of CIAC publication? Does CIAC let you present just based on a proposal or abstract, and then do the peer review for the publication after the fact?