"giant" squid size

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by tomossan, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. tomossan

    tomossan Blue Ring Registered

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    and i say this with some reservation, as that usually brings up images of Architeuthus.... my question is this.
    could a species of very large squid grow larger than 100 foot? i have heard from various internet sources of squids upto 175 foot, for instance

    http://unmuseum.mus.pa.us/squid.htm

    is this possible in any sense of the word? could a marine ecosystem support such a collosal squid, or is this completly undeasible? im intrigued by this, but i have a sneaky suspicion its codswallop. However if a ecosystem could support such a large animal than perhaps it could exist....

    i know im rambling, but im quite interested to hear the opinion of poeple that know what the hell they're talking about :-D
     
  2. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Well, Steve and Tintenfisch are the ones for this one, but for my 2 cents worth...

    Extremely unlikely that a squid could grow that large. For one thing, we have absolutely no evidence for Architeuthis over a maximum of 13m Total length. I suppose it is possible that a squid could grow larger if the food supply is there, but why have we not recovered fragments of creatures of this sort of size from Sperm Whale stomachs? Enough of the stomach contents of these whales have been examined by now, and it seems likely that remains of any creature of that size would have been identified and sensationalised by now.

    In addition, no corpses of creatures of this size have been discovered or specimens become entangled and hauled up in drift nets.

    Also one has to consider growth rates. Squids have very sort life spans. I believe Architeuthis probably reaches its maximum size in just 3-5 years, making it one of the longest lived squids. (kick me, Steve & Kat here.....). To believe a squid could reach 175ft or more implies incredible longevity, or, a phenomenal growth rate.

    I suppose an ecosystem could support a squid of such size, there is just no reliable evidence for it unfortunately.

    (Hope I am not treading on anyone's toes here.......)

    Phil
     
  3. Tintenfisch

    Tintenfisch Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    Go Phil! We might just have to get you your own forum... ;)

    Aye, Architeuthis probably still holds the record for longest squid, and of the 100+ we've seen, none has ever been longer than 37 feet. We think Mesonychoteuthis might reach lengths of about 35 feet and is certainly more massive in the body than the GS, but neither of these squid are reaching lengths approaching 100 feet.

    I believe the 60' figure was the result of pacing off the animal's length... and you may recall the Tasmanian GS that washed up last year, which was 15' when it appeared and had grown to 60' by the end of an intensive week of press coverage...
     
  4. tomossan

    tomossan Blue Ring Registered

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    :P it seems my cryptozoology sites have let me down yet again.

    *sigh* :roll: its still nice to imagine a 100 foot squid.... possibly capable of wrecking oil tankers ;)

    :meso: RAR
     
  5. Fujisawas Sake

    Fujisawas Sake Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Tomossan,

    Well, you can always read The Future is Wild and take comfort in the idea that one day...

    SQUID WILL RULE THE EARTH!

    Mmmmmm.... Malacological overlords....

    Sushi and Sake,

    John
     
  6. Sordes

    Sordes Wonderpus Registered

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    But, what would be if a squid could never produce sexual organs and would never reach maturity? Could probably produce giants, comparable to the giant ammonites? It would be really interesting to see what would happen with a sterilized squid.
     
  7. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    And who, pray tell, would do the sterilizing, hmmm?

    :squidaut:
     
  8. Sordes

    Sordes Wonderpus Registered

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    I did not say that such experiments should be made with an archi, it could also be done with a small species which is suitable for tanks.
     
  9. bobwonderbuns

    bobwonderbuns Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    And how would one get the squid to hold still for such an experiement? "Hold still, hold still... there! Whoooose a big squid???" :roll:
     
  10. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Good squiddy, good squiddy! Such a brave boy!
    :mrgreen:
     
  11. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm quite attached to my hectocotylus, thank you very much :shock:
     
  12. Sordes

    Sordes Wonderpus Registered

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    Interestingly similar experiments were already made with tadpoles many decades ago. After the removing of their thyroid glands they grew and grew and grew, but never reached maturity and became only frogs after they were feed with special hormons.
     
  13. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hmmm....Squids on steroids...
     
  14. Sordes

    Sordes Wonderpus Registered

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    Or better said the oppostite. Many animals get castrated or sterilized to grow bigger, for exemple chickens or steers.
     
  15. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Bulls versus steers, from my experience growing up in farming country, though not farming, is really more about insuring that the best males in a farmers herd are left "whole" for breeding purposes, and the not so perfect specimens are sterilized so they can't impregnate the females before the desired sires can get to them. Sterilization also cuts down significantly on aggression, which is one reason that from time to time it has been suggested for certain male recidivistic criminals of human persuasion.
     
  16. Sordes

    Sordes Wonderpus Registered

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    Okay, we begin to talk about "unteuthology", I hope nobody will remove it...
    The lesser aggression and the better controlling of sexual mating between different animals are important reasons why castration and sterilisation has been made since ages. But the positive result of better growth and more meat was also a reason.
     
  17. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Steve and Kat are usually pretty laid back about losing focus if the original thread is actually ceph science related. Still, the question remains, except for satisfying curiousty, why in the world would anyone want to castrate a squid to see if it would grow larger?
     
  18. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Well, I'd be curious about the result, since cephs seem to have preserved some pretty ancient animal hormonal and developmental systems-- in the same way that fruit fly genetics showed us a lot about human development or squid giant axons told us about human nerves, perhaps it would be a Rosetta stone for hormonal control of animal development. Or, perhaps it would lead to giant watch-squids Erich could put in the moat around his creepy castle to devour meddling teenagers and their dog...
     
  19. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I would be pretty interested in the results myself. Gigantisism and miniaturisation are two common ways in which speciation occurs. The Giant Squid, Architeuthis dux, is almost a gigantic version of other species of squid, and it's almost as if the thing matured very late in life and kept on growing in the interim.

    One of the problems that we are facing with cultured squid is that they do not seem to ever attain the same size as wild stock. This probably reflects the size of the tanks that we are using, that in some way constrain growth .... we are good at rearing 'pygmy squid'. It does tell us that size of the animal is most definitely affected by environmental factors (the opposite of gigantisism in our case). Until I get larger facilities I'll not know if it is dietary or tank size/configuration.
     
  20. Sordes

    Sordes Wonderpus Registered

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    This phenomen is known in several fish-species, which keep also very small in small tanks, but there are also many species which always grow in the same way, indifferently how large the tank is.
     

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