Mystery squid 2

Steve O'Shea

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Nov 19, 2002
Anyone want to tell me what this is??? This is quite a different squid to 'Mystery squid 1'!!! It is NOT from New Zealand waters .... and I'm not convinced that it is Architeuthis (because of where it was taken).

It was floating on the sea surface .... and it was BIG.



Okay... WOW!! That kicks tail! Where was that photographed, and why do you think its not an Archi? Water too shallow?

Gee that's a big squid....

Thank you for the photo!!

Sushi and Sake!


P.S. Anything new on the squid intestine front? Where are you and Tintenfisch going to publish so I can read it?
Nice one!

What's that white stuff where the tentacles meet the mantle? An infection of some kind, or something natural?

I looked around at some species, but really couldn't come up with anything. I might have suggested it was an enormous Humbolt, but the mantle doesn't seem stout enough.

I agree about the Dosidicus. Every time I've ever seen one, the body shape is more stout (not Guiness-style, but pretty strong :lol: ). The preserved specimens I've seen have been different.

How big do you think it was? I mean, mantle length may have been a little over two meters. I don't know much about Moroteuthis- could it be one of those?

Avast ye! Malacology be a harsh mistress! :lol:

Potatoes and Guiness,

I'd really like to share with you an image on 'mystery squid 3', but I think we'll wait a few weeks (I think you'll hear about it). It leaves 1 and 2 for dead!

Why don't I think it is Architeuthis? Well, those suckers at the base of the arm FRAGMENT that the gentleman is holding are unusually large (relative to the thickness of the arm). This strikes me as non-Architeuthis-like. I can't tell you where the image was taken (even though I know, sorry). He tried to haul it up on the deck of his boat - that's when you can see the scale of the brute. He didn't succeed. The animal's mantle is approximately 2 metres in length. There is a large gash in the belly (bottom of the mantle) that makes the animal look more stout than it truly is (the flap at the rear near the rather large fins); the white spots at the base of the arms are probably where the skin is abraded. The carcass has been attacked by something, but is still VERY fresh!

The moral of the story is that there are REAL monsters out there, other than Architeuthis .
Steve, are you tentatively saying this may be a new squid/undescribed species?

The only other squid that I am aware of with a mantle length of this size is Mesonychoteuthis yet the body shape appears to be somewhat different (though what do I know?)

Are there any more photos of this beastie to share?
:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: No steve do not wait for 2 weeks please!!! Nice pic. Thank you for sharing...I am stumped!!! It's huge!!! :bugout: I am confused. Would love to know more though!!!!
Sorry :frown: You see I'm hatching a plan, and it would all turn to custard if I got too excited too soon and posted some sensational stuff online.

The animal with the weird hook, the other 'mystery squid' is now "in press", so that should be out by years end (this is the time scale we talk about in publications). This rather large animal (the current mystery squid) is an unknown - I have no parts of it (it's just a fantastic photograph) - one day someone will save a piece and we can put a name to it.

The new 'mystery squid', the one I haven't posted, is just bad to the bone (and might prove to be two species ... you see we've got a few bits and a few intact specimens), but we've got so much work to do on it yet. Moreover, to describe it we need to look at all our whale stomach content samples - the upside is that this will hurry us up on that thread.

Where does time go?

Out of curiosity, how many species of Architeuthisare there? Could we be dealing with some new species?

Crickey that's a big squid! "Arm FRAGMENT"!?!? Wow... So where was that photo taken? Please say Northern California! I'll hijak the local university's research vessel! :lol: Hee hee... Aww, well... A guy can dream, right?

Sushi and Sake

Hmmmmm. Ok, it was off Tonga (quite tropical), although I never told you.

Amongst those tissue samples that we have sequenced (North and South Atlantic, North and South Pacific) there appears to be a single species only. However, that's not to say we have sequenced all species (only that the material that has been made available to us belongs to a single species). Presently I lean towards recognising a single species of Architeuthis , A. dux, and am not alone in this belief, but tomorrow someone could come along and prove that there is more than a single species in the genus.

Hello Steve,

Was the Tongan squid spotted off Vava'u, by any chance? My brother spent some time in Tonga as a Peace-Corps volunteer. When he saw the photo you posted, he thought he recognized the gentleman holding the arm-fragment as a charter-boat captain from Vava'u. Daniel (my brother) also informed me that physeter is fairly common in the area. Perhaps this "mystery squid" was disabled by a booming cachalot. Dan never heard about GS while he was in Tonga, though he worked with the local fisheries.

Also: maybe you've sensitized me too well to the issue of arm-stretching, but the captain appears to be doing some stretching himself; perhaps that accounts for the prominence of the suckers relative to the thickness of the arm-fragment?
Re: Mystery squid 2

Steve O'Shea said:
Anyone want to tell me what this is??? This is quite a different squid to 'Mystery squid 1'!!! It is NOT from New Zealand waters .... and I'm not convinced that it is Architeuthis (because of where it was taken).

It was floating on the sea surface .... and it was BIG.

Fascinating creature. The rounded, pinkish head is obviously for the purpose of absorbing sunlight while basking at the surface. The grey fringe surrounding it may be a decorative adaptation for attracting females, but that is uncertain. The small, frontal eyes and separately placed beak and buccal mass are unique among animals of this size. Also unique is the way the rather short feeding tentacles project laterally from the loose whitish mantle. It appears to be holding the arm of another Squid which it injured in battle. I would be interested to learn more about this new species!

The other picture is some kinda Squid.

Tani the D
It must be spring, because all sorts of cool things are washing up on the image search shoreline:

175lb Hawaiian Giant Squid

"A squid that just had a tangle with a shark" is right. A crescent-shaped slice of the anterior margin of the mantle and a portion of the head appear to have been bitten out. One of the arms has been bitten off close to the head. A prominent keel is visible on another arm. Very Architeuthis-like.


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