'Giant' egg masses (spheres) again

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by Steve O'Shea, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    We had this topic on the earlier board, but just letting you know the first record of a 1 metre diameter 'giant squid' egg mass has just been reported off northeastern New Zealand seconds ago..... photos en route soon. :D :D :D :D

    Oh to be diving up there right now!!! Hopefully we'll get samples this year and be able to determine what species is responsible for releasing these structures!
    Tallyho
    O
     
  2. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    ....and reports of a second egg-mass sighting have just come through!!

    BUZZING!
     
  3. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Excellent!! Keep us posted...

    :squid:
     
  4. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    What's the chances of these being viable you think?
     
  5. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I'd be pretty sure that the eggs were viable, in the sense that they were fertilised prior to the female's release of the egg sphere ... but I'm not so sure whether collecting small samples of the eggs from an egg mass and maintaining them/'incubating' them in some culture environment is a viable proposition.

    The first task is to determine what squid species is releasing them; presto, locate, sample & DNA sequence - not a problem (ok, relocating them might be). Moreover, there seem to be two different egg mass sizes, ~ 1 and ~ 2 metres diameter, so in all likelihood we are dealing with eggs from two different species/genera/families of squid (a little more DNA work). It is possible (quite likely) that these huge egg masses belong to something like an ommastrephid squid (eg, Nototodarus, Ommastrephes, or Todarodes), as opposed to Architeuthis (I just don't believe these egg masses are found in 'the right place' for them to belong to Architeuthis), but all of those ommastrephid genera are comparatively small (mantle lengths considerably less than a metre - nothing like Dosidicus) .... I'm at a loss, unless they belong to something like Mastigoteuthis cordiformis (and I don't believe so) or some rather large onychoteuthid squid (like Moroteuthis, and this I don't believe either)). Questions, questions, questions ....

    If the DNA/embryological morphology points to the eggs as being ommastrephid then immediately I'd have to rethink my ideas on the 'hypothetical' Architeuthis egg mass size (I thought it might be ~ 2m) - it would have to be colossal. When initially released by the female it might be ~ 2m in diameter, but after some time, sponging up surrounding seawater, it could get to many metres across. Be cool to bump into a 10m egg mass wouldn't it!!! I dream.

    So, stage 1 is to collect the samples and get the things on film (pretty much immediately); stage 2 to DNA them and undertake embryological examination to find out what on earth they belong to (pretty much immediately); stage 3, and this is the dream, to keep them live (Tintenfisch, hurry back from the US of A)... though a dream only (and some say pipe). We're going to try all 3 at once.
    Cheers
    O
     
  6. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    HI Steve,

    What techniques do you use to extract and read DNA? I tried when I was in Hobart (admittedly I was trying to use adult mantle and arm tissue) with absolutely no success. We were using an alcohol based extraction tecnique then PCR amplification, the idea was then to do a RAPD analysis. No go!! They have since tried EPICS with no success. This was with both Nototodarus sloanii and N. gouldi there is a real problem getting the DNA out in the first place :( I'd be keen to hear how you do it!!

    J :bonk:
     
  7. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Not sure about this one Jean .... I just take a fresh sample and send to my gel friends (I'm no DNA person, but use the info they give me); Peter Smith (NIWA) has done a fair bit of electrophoretic work on the Nototodarus , and he's the chap I use for the 16S and CO1 DNA sequences ... and he's had no problem with Nototodarus before; I've a report somewhere where he describes his techniques (electronic version), so I'll track that down and copy relevant sections/methodology to you via snail mail or private e- (coz it might bore 99.999% of people here ..... a category in which I myself fall). I like whole and live animals!!

    It may just be how 'fresh' your tissues were; I'd have thought there was no problem with mantle or arm tissues.

    Re the egg spheres, we've got most northeastern NZ divers and dive-charter operators on red alert right now - if a sample is to be got we'll sure get it in the next few days .... watch this space!
    Cheers
    O
     
  8. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Stve,

    I'd appreciate that. I admit I prefer my animals alive and kicking too!!! I was only doing the genetics for completeness!!

    J
     
  9. heydiddlesquiddle

    heydiddlesquiddle Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hi folks:))

    I'm wondering what the followup summary of this was??

    Tony.
     
  10. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Those eggs evaded us I'm afraid. We will get them on film one day, and when we do it will be that much more rewarding (there's nothing like a challenge).

    I've not heard of any sightings subsequent to the initial ones. We might have to wait until December 2003 to get them, but at least we will be prepared!

    Cheers
    O
     
  11. heydiddlesquiddle

    heydiddlesquiddle Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks Steve,

    We get what we call moon jellies come in to shore here each easter period. They are cresent shaped and about 5-7 inches in overall diameter and about 1.5 inches thick. They are almost perfectly clear with what looks like tiny sand particles in them.

    I always presumed these were just another form of jellyfish however they lack all forms of tentacles or ways of feeding that i can see. They do not have any method of moving around and just move with the currents.

    Could these be the egg forms of a ceph??

    Tony.
     
  12. sideways

    sideways Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Hey Tony, here on the East Coast of the United States we too get a lot of Moon Jellies in the summer. Their tentacles are hard to see and you wouldnt really notice them unless you were looking at them in an aquarium. Unlike their cousins they feed on tiny organisms that are also at the mercy of the currents.
     
  13. heydiddlesquiddle

    heydiddlesquiddle Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks Sideways,

    I was thinkinf last night that maybe they are a planktonic feeding jelly fish.

    Tony.
     
  14. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    The size of the structure is small, but a smaller-bodied squid could have released them (if they prove to be squid egg massess). The 'tiny sand particle' reference is most interesting as the 'grains' sound more like eggs (within a gelatinous matrix) than anything with which I am familiar in a typical jellyfish. You'll have to collect a sample and place it beneath a microscope in order to determine what you have.

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  15. Jared

    Jared Cuttlefish Registered

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    Here are a couple of pictures that I took of what we call moon jellies out here in california. One of the jellies is a bit worn out (uh, dead actually) from getting bounce off of rocks by the surge. Are these something like what you saw?

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jared

    Jared Cuttlefish Registered

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    Oops, that was just one picture. Here's the other one:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. heydiddlesquiddle

    heydiddlesquiddle Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hi Jared,

    Thanks for the link pics of your moon jellies, however they are totally unlike the ones that come in here each easter.

    These ones are crescent shaped (horse shoe) and are nearly a perfect round cross section. When these things come in again i will take a pic of one ot two to post.

    Keep smiling and take care.

    Tony.
     
  18. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Something that caught me offguard once was a small crescent-shaped sausage-like alga, the little green cells embedded in a gelatinous matrix (thought I had myself something interesting for ..... a day or so). Looking forward to some pics of this mystery glob so that a name/phylum can be attached to it.
    Ta
    O
     
  19. heydiddlesquiddle

    heydiddlesquiddle Cuttlefish Registered

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    okies Steve, I have got my eyes peeled for the first of them to hit the shores here. As soon as i find one i will snap a few pics and see if i can get a macro shot of the sand like matrix inside them.

    Keep smiling and take care.

    Tony.
     
  20. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Watch this thread in weeks to come! :wink:
     

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