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like your thoughts on these questions

Joined
Oct 15, 2005
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319
Hi All!! I have a couple of squid questions and I would like the input of the "squid community" (aka y'all).

First, any thoughts on why it took the Japanese a year to release the news of the giant squid sighting?

Second, there has been a great race for the past 10 years to see architeuthis the giant squid alive and well in his natural habitat, but there has been little interest (by comparison) to see the collossal squid (whom I've nicknamed "megateuthis") alive in his natural habitat. If he's bigger and badder than the giant squid, wouldn't there be the same if not more interest in him?

Oh, and I'll just add one last quick question here -- any thoughts on why life at the deepest recesses of the ocean are so much larger? Think architeuthis, the collosal squid, the six gill shark, etc. If light is pretty much nonexistant down there and the pressure can crush even a submersible, how is it these creatures grow to enormous size? One would think it would be the opposite -- they would amount to single celled organisms.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!! :biggrin2:
 

OB

Colossal Squid
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Oct 19, 2003
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Hi there, BW

Please, also take into account that the larger a creature gets, the more energy efficient it gets with it... This goes for homeotherms as well for poikilotherms; think the average 'gator or python, surviving on two meals a year, versus gekko's and garter snakes. Gigantism in the abbyss has a lot to do with food abundance: this works either way, with food shortage, think efficency, but, if you look at i.e. the giant tubeworms and mussels near hydrothermal vents, they are a perfect case in point for abundance being the trigger.

If we go mesopelagic, I don't think gigantism is actually that prominent. The megafauna consists of a limited number of species, whereas benthic feeders/scavengers such as sleeper- and sixgill shark seem to pass through, but not so much forage.

On the question of pressure, please further note that only gasses respond to PV=nRT; solids and liquids are simply not (significantly) compressable. You'll find that creatures of the abbyss wil derive their specific buoyancy from (liver) oil content or chemical equilibrium (i.e. ammonium versus sodium in Architeuthis), not so much from gas filled swimbladders. If you ever go fishing for cod, you'll find out why, even pulling them up from, say, 30 meters will cause their swimbladders to rupture; remember, 1 bar added per 10 meters of water column, 30 meters = 4 bar, going to merely 1 at the surface, equals: *pop* "ouch, farewell, cruel world,..., at least the sprat will be happier"

Pressure, therefore, is not a limiting factor.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2003
Messages
373
Regarding the interest in Messie :meso: , from personal experience I'd say most of the general population still doesn't know that they exist! Archie has been around for so much longer that it has been integrated into our folklore and myths, and thus has boggled the mind of scientists searching for the truths to the stories :madsci: . Practically speaking, I'd say Archie is much more accessable as well as it isn't an exclusive subtropical (?) to Antarctic species, such as Messie. I don't know about you, but thats a long boat ride if you're just going to deploy a camera and hope that your bait doesn't get eatten by something else. :sink:

Cheers!

:archi: :tentacle: :mesonych: Now THAT would be a killer hybrid!
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
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Nov 19, 2002
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bobwonderbuns said:
First, any thoughts on why it took the Japanese a year to release the news of the giant squid sighting?

Second, there has been a great race for the past 10 years to see architeuthis the giant squid alive and well in his natural habitat, but there has been little interest (by comparison) to see the collossal squid (whom I've nicknamed "megateuthis") alive in his natural habitat. If he's bigger and badder than the giant squid, wouldn't there be the same if not more interest in him?

We scientific types are paranoid.......and tend to keep new info under wraps until we're sure of ourselves plus we're just mean and get a lost of pleasure out of tormenting people (as in letting hints out that we have something super exciting to tell and then saying sorry can't let the cat out of the bag just yet:lol: )

In actual fact I'd suspect that the news was/is being published in a refereed journal (actually I know it is!) This takes time even with the rapid email communication we have now. It has to be sent in, sent to usually 3 referees who send it back with comments, it goes back to the authors for corrections and then back to the editor, once approved it then goes in to be published, which can take time depending on how many papers are waiting to be published, during this the authors keep quiet as they don't want the news to creep out so some unscrupulous types can pinch it and publish in a less stringently controlled/ reviewed journal first. Most journals only publish original material so if it gets out it may not be published in a reputable journal. I don;t know how often that sort of thing goes on but as I said.......we're a bit paranoid!!

As far as pics of Messie are concerned..............well it seems to prefer antarctic type water which is more problematic (and expensive) to work in. But no doubt these pics will come eventually!!!

Cheers

J
 

Graeme

Vampyroteuthis
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Sep 26, 2005
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352
Ob pretty much answered the depth thing. Really there are very few large animals living in the deep sea. Most of these seem to be confined to the sea floor, such as the huge isopods down there, where as most animals in the water column are tiny. Most of the "large" predatory fish make it to little over a few centimetres, eg the Rat-trap Fish, or the Hatchet fish, the former being about 5cm and the latter being, I think it was the size of a dime, supposedly. Also, most of the life down there won't have air-spaces, which, as we all know, air as a gas is compressible! An animal filled competely with water (eg an Architeuthis) won't have a problem with pressure, as there's nothing for the pressure to push against.
As for the Collosal squid; yep, not enough people know about them. People are only getting over the fact that there is such thing as a 60ft squid, and are only just accepting it as something that crypto-buffs have been swearing were true for years. Now, after digesting that bit of news, can you imagine someone telling you there's and even BIGGER one out there, that makes this huge monster you've just accepted as not a fairytale look like a goldfish!?
For the first question, is this the one that was in the news a couple months ago? Oh? was it discovered a year ago? I thought it was discovered then! Oh well. Shows how much attention I pay to the news!

Graeme- Why did I answer the questions backwards!? hmmm
 

um...

Architeuthis
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Sep 5, 2003
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Graeme said:
An animal filled competely with water (eg an Architeuthis) won't have a problem with pressure, as there's nothing for the pressure to push against.

There are still some adaptations required to deal with high pressure, since it tends to reduce the fluidity of cell membranes and interfere with protein function. I'm sure there are also lots of other physiological consequences.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2005
Messages
319
Which leads me to this next question: If sperm whales have vertibraes, how can they dive to the depths that the giant squids live without having that pressure affect them?
 

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