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Cannibals!

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:23 am
by grant
from New Scientist:


Now Bruce Deagle of the University of Tasmania, Australia, and his team have analysed the gut contents of a male giant squid caught by fishermen off the west coast of Tasmania in 1999. Among the slurry of macerated prey, they found three tentacle fragments and 12 squid beaks. The beaks could not be unequivocally identified, but all of the squid DNA in the slurry, and the tentacle fragments, was found to be that of A. dux (Journal of Heredity, vol 96, p 417). "This strongly suggests cannibalism," says team member Simon Jarman of the Australian Antarctic Division in Kingston, Tasmania. The only other prey species identified was a fish, the blue grenadier.

Steve O'Shea and Kat Bolstad at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand were the first to find evidence of cannibalism in A. dux, in a female caught in New Zealand waters. They published their findings in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology last year. But O'Shea suspected the cannibalism was accidental.

"The male giant squid has to use a puny 15-gram brain to coordinate 150 kilograms of weight, 10 metres of length and a 1.5-metre-long penis," he says. "He physically plunges this penis into the female's arms, which are rather unfortunately right next to her beak. Because he is coordinating so much with so little, I think occasionally bits get chewed off when they inadvertently get too close to the beak."




More at the link.

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:23 am
by grant
Bits get chewed off...

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:52 am
by Squid
And I thought internet dating was dangerous.

That's amazing. With such grave injuries being sustained, I wonder how many times the Gentleman Squids are able to, erm, "love".

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:07 am
by grant
1.5 meters... seems like you could spare a few bits with plenty to leave over.

And, you know, scarred for her pleasure.

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:39 pm
by Squid
Eeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww!

I like how they describe A. Dux as possibly "indulging" in cannibalism. Like it's an option on a dessert menu. "Do I throw caution to the wind and get the triple layer mousse cake? Or do I eat the person sitting next to me? Hmmm.."

Girls On Film

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:55 am
by grant
The Japanese have snapped the first photos of a living giant squid. It was 26 feet long and swimming at 3,000 feet.

They're much faster hunters than scientists had previously believed.

More at the New Scientist...
(but that first link has five large images).

New Scientist wrote:Tsunemi Kubodera of the National Science Museum in Tokyo and Kyoichi Mori of the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association in Tokyo collected more than 550 digital images taken over more than four hours. These show the squid repeatedly attempting to detach a bait dangling beneath the camera, which was at a depth of 900 metres.

During these attempts, the club of one of the squid’s long feeding tentacles became caught in the bait equipment. It eventually broke off, and the team retrieved and genetically sequenced the 5.5-metre-long severed section to confirm that the animal was indeed Architeuthis dux. They estimate the squid’s total length was at least eight metres.

The images are set to change ideas about the giant squid’s predatory techniques. Despite its ferocious reputation in myth, experts had thought that A. dux was a sluggish predator that dangled its two long feeding tentacles like fishing rods to snare passing prey.

“But the pictures show an animal that’s more like a python striking a rat,” points out Norman.



Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote:Once on the surface "the recovered section of tentacle was still functioning," researchers wrote, "with the large suckers of the tentacle club repeatedly gripping the boat deck and any offered fingers.

Re: Architeuthis dux: News and admiration of nature's top wo

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:21 am
by galleta
[
O Unusually high numbers of dead giant squid, washed up on Spanish shores, have led scientists to believe that loud, low-frequency sounds made by oil companies charting the sea bed are killing the creatures.



no, it's nothing to do with loud sounds. it's because spaniards like to pee in the sea.

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:54 am
by No You Are
Grant, you beat me to the punch. I caught that this morning too.

Cool stuff.

Re: Girls On Film

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:40 am
by Squid
grant wrote:
Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote:Once on the surface "the recovered section of tentacle was still functioning," researchers wrote, "with the large suckers of the tentacle club repeatedly gripping the boat deck and any offered fingers.


That is exactly the line that caught my attention when I saw this today. Offered Fingers? Please. How do they know Mr. Very Large, Very Angry, & Very, Very Free isn't going to come back and attack them while they're screwing around with the severed tentacle?!

I'm telling you, these are the people that always get killed off first in the movie.

But the pix are dreamy! So cool. The Kiwis are plenty ticked they didn't get there first, bless them...they've been slogging away at this for ages.

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:37 am
by c-dog
I saw that in the paper this morning and immediately thought of you Squid!

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:32 pm
by Yarn
If you are going to read these comics, read in order. (I'm sorry, but all this talk has made me think of these)

http://www.qwantz.com/index.pl?comic=492
http://www.qwantz.com/index.pl?comic=493
http://www.qwantz.com/index.pl?comic=494

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:28 pm
by Squid
Yarn wrote:If you are going to read these comics, read in order. (I'm sorry, but all this talk has made me think of these)

http://www.qwantz.com/index.pl?comic=492
http://www.qwantz.com/index.pl?comic=493
http://www.qwantz.com/index.pl?comic=494


those are awesome! and creepily enough, the middle one was run on my birthday. (That's Hina Matsuri to you, Betty Felon!)

and thanks, c-dog. nice to be appreciated, even though i am neither giant nor being filmed by marine biologists...YET!

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:07 am
by Liesbeth
Great comix!

And from todays episode:
September 28th 2005
Here is an article about giant squid sex. I tried to warn you that cephalopods were creepy. The article features the phrase "accidentally injected himself with sperm packages".

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:12 am
by LoveSickJerk
The Daily Show ran a short piece about the Giant Squids at the end of yesterday's episode! I thought about this topic and all the nice people on the board! Hooray!

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:19 am
by Yarn
If you liked those comics, then please check out http://www.qwantz.com aka Dinosaur Comics, funniest web comic imo.

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:01 pm
by Liesbeth
LoveSickJerk wrote:The Daily Show ran a short piece about the Giant Squids at the end of yesterday's episode! I thought about this topic and all the nice people on the board! Hooray!

So does this mean the giant squid is now our board animal?
Well, otters, penguins? They don't have penises the size of their body (without head or legs)...

That latter factoid comes from that 'giant squid sex' link mentioned in the 28 Sep episode of qwants that I quoted. Which links to an article from CDNN aptly titled 'Weird sex: Giant squid do it deeper'.

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:33 pm
by Squid
Remember the shirt that Betty hipped us to?
Now they have girly tees!!
Image
The Kraken has been found alive and we're celebrating with a new shirt!

Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:17 am
by Moni
Squid wrote:The Kraken has been found alive and we're celebrating with a new shirt!


Well I'm hoping the giant squid on these pictures actually survived the photoshoot - it had to struggle for four hours to free itself from the hook with which the biologists had caught it, until finally the tentacle got ripped off.

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 8:32 pm
by Squid
Liz wrote:Well I'm hoping the giant squid on these pictures actually survived the photoshoot - it had to struggle for four hours to free itself from the hook with which the biologists had caught it, until finally the tentacle got ripped off.


The caption to one of the photos reads: One tentacle was caught, and the creature moved violently for four hours to break free. Here's the tentacle left on the bait hook. The squid will survive, though the tentacle will not grow back.

Hopefully that's true.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:47 am
by c-dog