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Mystery squid 2

Steve O'Shea

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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.

Cheers
O
 

Clem

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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?
:?:
Clem
 
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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
 

Clem

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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.

Clem
 

Steve O'Shea

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That's Archi for sure, although there's something very weird about it. You are looking at what appears to be the dorsal surface of the fins, yet the ventral surface of the mantle margin (the indentation around the aperture marking the two mantle-locking cartilages), and the ventral surface of the head (somehow this mantle has been completely twisted around). It might explain the brown goop (digestive gland ruptured) oozing from the mantle cavity, and the wet jetty surface (they've flushed a lot of goop away).

Verdict, Architeuthis, heavy, difficult to haul aboard vessel or move about by fishermen; extensively (anatomically) damaged in the process of getting aboard; put back together again 'not to well' on the jetty.

I'm not aware of too many Archi's being found in Hawaiian waters in recent years; good find!

Matt, I'll repost the image on Monday.
 

Clem

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Hi Steve,

I was a little confused about the orientation/arrangement of the animal, myself. Sounds like you've nailed it. The skin loss on the mantle and head is so extensive that I wondered if this wasn't a trawled animal, or perhaps one that had recently been run over by a whale. Then again, it might have just been spent and lost its skin when it was being hauled onboard/dragged over the transom/etc. Curious to know what kind of shark worked it over. These fishermen appear to specialize in big billfish (judging from the other photos on site), and I'd like to know what else they caught on the day.

Cheers,

Clem
 

Steve O'Shea

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Here tiz; reposted

 

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