Embryo of big octopus or squid?

BirgittaLantto

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#1
Hi! Several divers saw this almost round transparent sack floating 1 m above a reef at Weather Islands (väderöarna) north of Gothenburg Sweden 11 july 2018. Depth 8 m. 14 deg in water. The dots seemed to be on the surface and there is a grey area in the middle. Noone saw any attachment. Diameter maybe 40 cm (above 1 foot). It seemed to have one side which was pointy. Could it be a big octopus or squid embryo?
Link to Google drive
Trolleskaer180711_8meters - Google Drive

Best regards
Birgitta Lantto
 
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DWhatley

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#2
There are no known cephalopod eggs anywhere near that large. The GPO (Giant Pacific Octopus)has tiny eggs that they attach to a substrate and hatch as tiny pelagic immature octos. I don't know that we know what the eggs of the giant squid look like but many pelagic squid create an outer gelatinous sack that houses thousands of tiny eggs. Some squid females keep the sack attached to their arms until hatching time, others release it to the ocean. The closest thing to a ceph of that size might be one of these protective sack like incubators.
 
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tonmo

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#3

BirgittaLantto

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Thank you! I read the artikel with great interest.
This squid was found on the beach around 100 km from Väderöarna around the time we saw the blob. Two species has in total been seen now so the News say it’s a school of flying squids (Swedish to English translation) swimming outside the shore this summer which is rare. The size of them are 1-1.5 m so they seem to correspond to the blob size (My guess). They live in north East Atlantic Flygande bläckfiskar har siktats på Västkusten - P4 Göteborg
 

BirgittaLantto

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#5
There are no known cephalopod eggs anywhere near that large. The GPO (Giant Pacific Octopus)has tiny eggs that they attach to a substrate and hatch as tiny pelagic immature octos. I don't know that we know what the eggs of the giant squid look like but many pelagic squid create an outer gelatinous sack that houses thousands of tiny eggs. Some squid females keep the sack attached to their arms until hatching time, others release it to the ocean. The closest thing to a ceph of that size might be one of these protective sack like incubators.
Thank you. Two flying squids (Swedish name) have been seen within 100 km from that area according to our news so there might be a school of them on summer vacation outside the west coast of Sweden. They are 1-1.5 m. Please seethe pic of one of them in this link Flygande bläckfiskar har siktats på Västkusten - P4 Göteborg
 

Tintenfisch

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#7
Hmm. So little is know about egg masses in the vast majority of oceanic cephs... my best (very tentative!) guess would also be that it's a free-floating ommastrephid egg mass. A few species are known to create these; I can't tell from the news item photo what species has been turning up on the beaches--it would be a nice corroborating piece of evidence if they did turn out to be the same species! To be 100% sure though, we would need a tissue snip from a beached specimen, and a sample of the eggs as well (paging @HeatherBraid to the barcoding lab!). Unfortunately this was probably quite a rare sighting, and observations on the Nototodarus egg mass linked above indicate that once the egg mass is breached (e.g. to take a sample), its structural integrity is lost and it is rapidly consumed by nearby fish.
 

tonmo

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