Holy shi....*ahem*... Great stuff.
I'm also truly amazed by the tiny size of the statolith, I dissected some O. cyanea and only the smallest individuals (below 400g...granted that might not be a true indication of age as weight/age ratio is very much dependent on the feeding rate/environment...still O. cyanea is reaching 2kg in less than a year) had statoliths that small so are we to assume that this Colossal Squid is a young one?
I must remember to hassle Steve and Kat about the result of the ring counting...
Any computer wiz know a way to download and save that video?
Hey Kat, Steve....did you ever get a putative age on Messie??? It came up at work when we were discussing the content of some display boards for the new squid display. What's your feeling about max age for messie.......archie..... I had a mature Nototodarus at 206 days old.....d'ya reckon 3-4 years for these big ones......older????
Great questions Jean, I'd love to know too. I believe Steve said in the doco that one layer of stuff (some sort of calcium compound?) was deposited on the statolith each day. How do we know this? Anyone know of a reference to this? I'm just curious as that seems pretty frequent and also a pretty specific ratio considering we are just now getting "good" at aquaculture of these cephs. Now we can raise a group of squid and definitely know the ages of individuals and therefore relate that to the number of rings on their statoliths and from that develop some relationship. Bad sentence, but hopefully you get the meaning of it. Has some one done this exact thing and that's how we know? Just curious.
Whats a statholith for?
I remember in plant biology its small granules within a seed that fall to the bottom of the cell due to gravity and tells the seed which way is up so it grows in the right direction.
And how do the deep squid keep time?(to add to the statholith) Wouldnt they be on a free run period? Does anyone know if its 24 hours long?
Some similar ideas are discussed there. The bottom few posts would be the ones of interest.
I just took a brief glimpse through Nesis to learn some more about statoliths and he says that often after a certain age the squid discontinues adding layers to the statoliths. Therefore the statoliths of adult squid could be similar to younger squid as well. They just don't make it easy on us, do they?!?!?!
physics nitpick: the statocyst certainly measures acceleration, gravity being a special case of that, but it has no way to measure velocity, for the same reason that if you're in a moving vehicle, nothing "feels" different at a constant speed than it does when you're standing still-- there's nothing to measure unless you can see or feel the medium you're travelling through (the road, the water, or the air).
That was in... ummm... late 2003? Will have to do some searching for the statolith (ironic that it may be more difficult to find now that we've taken it *out* ... oh well...). Steve may have sent it off to a colleague in Tasmania, or it may be waiting to go.
In any case, the statocysts are located within the ventral part of the cartilaginous cephalon (kind of a skull), so you make one horizontal cut, and then do very thin slices until you find the statocyst. Then it's just a matter of picking out the statolith before it's washed away in a tide of slime. Simple, really...