Ahhhhhhhhh Steve the cruelty you put us through lol!!!! I simply cannot wait!!!!! I know it will be amazing; as always. Thank you for sharing this incredible bit of science with all of us here at Tonmo. Thank you to all of you for doing such a GREAT job!!!!!!! Until later...I will be patiently waiting lol!!!!
The lengths and weights that Architeuthis is reputed to attain are quite exagerated. The same could apply for Mesonychoteuthis, but as adult specimens are extremely rare in collections, and very little information is available for it, we are not in any position to challenge presently reported estimates.
I attach two files. The first depicts adult Architeuthis dux maximum lengths and weights, based on examination of over 100 specimens in the past 8 years. I do not believe, as stated many times throughout this site, that they attain lengths of 60 feet and weights of one ton.
For Mesonychoteuthis maximum estimates of length are: mantle length: 2-4m; total length to 30 feet.
Based on a combination of beak dimension, and both factory ship and photographic observations, Clarke (1986: 202) suggests Mesonychoteuthis attains a mantle length in excess of 2 m, possibly exceeding 4 m. Nesis (1987) reports mantle lengths of 2.0-2.25 m, but it is uncertain whether these measures are based on actual specimens, or estimates of size based on beak remains from stomach contents of sperm whales.
The lower beak standard measurement of rostrum length (LRL) 22.0 mm reported for 1.05 m specimen (Rodhouse & Clarke 1985) is considerably shorter than the greatest LRL described for this species, 48.0 mm (a measure taken from the largest beak known from the stomach of sperm whales). Therefore Mesonychoteuthis obviously attains sizes well in excess of 1.05 m ML.
We will soon find out whether these estimates are reliable. If Mesonychoteuthis does attain a mantle length of 4 m, or anywhere approaching it, then it truly will dwarf Architeuthis in terms of length, bulk and certainly 'meaness'; if it attains little more than 2.25 m ML then, although large and ferocious, it will not approach the standard length dimension of Architeuthis (if size and length can be scaled as they have in the accompanying figure).
Watch this space
Clarke, M.R. (ed.). 1986: A handbook for the identification of cephalopod beaks. Clarendon Press, Oxford: 1–273.
Nesis, K.N. 1987: Cephalopods of the world (English translation). Tropical Fish Hobbiest (T.F.H.) publications, Neptune City: 1–352.
Rodhouse, P.G.; Clarke, M.R. 1985. Growth and distribution of young Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni Robson (Mollusca: Cephalopoda): an Antarctic squid. Vie Milieu 35(3/4): 223–230.
a 7'4" mantle still isant anything to sneeze at even if it turns out not to be the biggest cat at the dance... i do have to confess, a 13' mantle is QUITE difficult to imagine...... any possibilities that you kiwis have some different CEPHappenings than other regions?
The lfs has agreed to import me a Mesonychoteuthis and have it here by next weekend. Do you think a 55 gallon aquarium will be big enough? I have 2 protein skimmers on it just in case! If not, do you think a pair of Architeuthis will do well in the 55 gallon...I have plenty of hermit crabs to feed them.
just messin', but very cool information Steve...thanks