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Giant Squid Sucker Marks on Whales?

Rob Romero

Blue Ring
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Oct 6, 2005
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#1
The scarring of whales by the suckers of large squid has been reported, documented, and even photographed. However, is there any indication to which the frequency such markings have been found?

-What can be learned from such scars –for instance, I have heard that sucker scars on a young whale grow with the whale and are responsible for grossly exaggerated estimates of 200 foot long squid (IIRC, 1 inch diameter suckers which eventually stretched to 4 inch diameter scars). Is it possible to distinguish fresh scars from those made when a whale was much smaller, so as to make a reasonable estimate as to the size of the largest squid?

-I would think that given the Sperm Whale’s hypothesized technique of stunning prey squid with sonic projection as well as the likelihood that a good portion of the squid had been crushed in the massive jaws (up to 18 feet) that large squid would be too debilitated and stunned to fight back to produce such scars (even in the case of a near miss snagging some of the arms) –therefore is it possible that the squids are ever the aggressors in such encounters –even if accidentally so?

-Have the sucker marks of different squid species (i.e. Colossal or Giant) been identified as having left such marks?

-On what species of whale have such suckers been found?

Thanks,
Rob Romero
 

Steve O'Shea

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#4
Rob Romero;104988 said:
-Have the sucker marks of different squid species (i.e. Colossal or Giant) been identified as having left such marks?

-On what species of whale have such suckers been found?
Hi Rob. We had an old thread discussing this, but when I tracked it down I noted that all images of scarring on whales had been lost. I had intended to repopulate the thread with images, but then noted that I too had lost all images on a drive crash several years ago. Rather tragic actually. I think the thread title was 'squid beaks from whale stomachs', but let me track it down shortly (I could be wrong, and I had to trawl through many old threads to track the one down that I wanted); we'll see what can be done to salvage at least some of the images.
 

Daremo

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Mar 14, 2005
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#6
I recall reading an extensive debate about whether or not the scars could grow as the whale grew, but it had not been satisfactorily resolved at the time I was reading about it.
On a related note, in Richard Ellis's Sea Monsters book he discusses accounts of rubber seals on U.S. Navy submarines which appear to have been damaged by hooks like those on the tentacle clubs of some squid (like Mesonichoteuthis), and we know submarines bear a certain resemblance to whales, and certainly did not initiate an attack. Conjectural, but interesting none-the-less.
 

Tintenfisch

Architeuthis
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#7
Here are a couple images of sucker ring & putative hook scratch scars on the head of one of the sperm whales that stranded here in 2004. The suckers look to be about the right size to have been a full-grown Architeuthis.
 

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Tintenfisch

Architeuthis
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#9
This sequence is an animation done for the Animal Face-Off series - the same one for which the big latex Mesonychoteuthis model was built. It's nice to see it without the 1+ hour of hype and build-up... :roll:
 

Infusoria

Vampyroteuthis
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#11
Daremo;107011 said:
I recall reading an extensive debate about whether or not the scars could grow as the whale grew, but it had not been satisfactorily resolved at the time I was reading about it.
On a related note, in Richard Ellis's Sea Monsters book he discusses accounts of rubber seals on U.S. Navy submarines which appear to have been damaged by hooks like those on the tentacle clubs of some squid (like Mesonichoteuthis), and we know submarines bear a certain resemblance to whales, and certainly did not initiate an attack. Conjectural, but interesting none-the-less.
I thought that that turned out to be the teeth of the megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios). Although I read that many years ago and could be wrong.:smile:

Happy new year everyone!
 

L8 2 RISE

Haliphron Atlanticus
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#12
Infusoria;107285 said:
I thought that that turned out to be the teeth of the megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios). Although I read that many years ago and could be wrong.:smile:

Happy new year everyone!
I believe I heard that as well.
 

Daremo

Cuttlefish
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#13
I missed the Discovery showing, but that was quite an interesting clip. Nice touch on the animators' part, showing how some of the scars could have been made, but I confess I am a bit skeptical of Mesonichoteuthis' aggresive posturing in the face of a predator so much larger. Makes for more dramatic footage, I admit, but wouldn't escape behavior seem more likely?
 

Daremo

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#14
Sorry about two posts in a row, but somehow I missed these last two responses. I had not heard the Megamouth theory, and will try to do some checkng. I think one of the sources on the hooks info was Ellis.
 

Ranzan

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Mar 23, 2007
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#15
wouldnt it be better to open up dead beached whales then judge size of giant squids by the indigested beaks in the stomach ?
 

Steve O'Shea

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#18
Not sure about the 'dream job' Ranzan. If you go here you'll find another image of extensive Architeuthis scarring on a sperm whale.
 

Firefly

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Apr 17, 2010
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#19
Rob Romero;104988 said:
The scarring of whales by the suckers of large squid has been reported, documented, and even photographed. However, is there any indication to which the frequency such markings have been found?

-What can be learned from such scars –for instance, I have heard that sucker scars on a young whale grow with the whale and are responsible for grossly exaggerated estimates of 200 foot long squid (IIRC, 1 inch diameter suckers which eventually stretched to 4 inch diameter scars). Is it possible to distinguish fresh scars from those made when a whale was much smaller, so as to make a reasonable estimate as to the size of the largest squid?

Here it says that size of scars aren´t usually used to estimate giant squid size, because as you heard, they can grow as the whale grow:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/ocean/monsters/giants.htm

Though, I´m not sure, if it´s possible to distinguish fresh scars ( more reliable to give a estimate) from older scars, maybe is possible but not certain...
 

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