... don't touch? That sounds a bit rough. If anyone is down that way and wants to grab a couple, wrap them up real good and tight, and put them in a freezer it would be mighty appreciated. I can find a way to get them to NZ.
Diseases? Hmmmmmm. Contaminated with DNA no doubt.
I wish I'd heard about this yesterday; I'm calling the Newport Beach lifeguard in the morning to see if they've cleared the beach yet, then at least taking some photos. I doubt I'll be able to preserve any - our freezer is small and very unreliable - but I can find-out if any extras are headed up the coast to Santa Barbara. I'm sure Dr. Hochberg is probably thrilled. This happens periodically along our shores with Dosidicus - there was a mass stranding in La Jolla last year, as well as an identical event on the same beach 100 years earlier. If the surf is high and the bait-fish are in the shallows, these guys tend to get tumbled. The weird part is the fact that eyewitnesses report the squid making strange "dolphin-like" sounds as they die. Odd clicks and whistles. Has anybody out there ever heard anything remotely like this?
Yeah, I saw this on TV this morning. According to DailyPlanet, a reputable show on the Discovery Channel, 1500 squids have washed ashore/beached themselves on the Californian coast. They have been termed "giant" squid, but never in reference to the actual species. They are averaging 2 metres in length, and around 7 kilos. Pretty Neat!
I did call the Newport Beach lifeguards the next morning and was told that it was too late; in fact, by the time I saw this posted on tonmo.com, the city had already cleared them all off the beach. A few went up to Santa Barbara, though, and I should be able to get info from them to pass along regarding size, weight, beaks, etc.
The operator for the fire/lifeguards told me the seabirds were getting out of hand, the squid were starting to get rather ripe, and a woman complained that she had witnessed a little boy trying to wear one on his head like a hat. Wouldn't those suckers be a little painful?
Looking around quickly on the beach and observing no one watching, Dosidicusman dons his Atlantean headgear and is transformed! Where once stood mild mannered Neil Graphite, 10 year old boy, now stands a superhero capable of the most amazing feats, be it saving surfers from great white sharks, hoovering rotting cephs off the beach with his superbreath, or even belting out Roger Whittaker tunes at karaoke night!
I spoke with Dr. Eric Hochberg this afternoon, and as this was an unexpected event, he's probably not going to get around to actually examining his frozen specimens for a couple weeks. I found it amusing that when I mentioned Steve's request for somebody here to freeze a dosidicus for shipment, he seemed perplexed: "I know Steve, why would he be interested in dosidicus..?"
At any rate, he also informed me that Clyde Roper will be at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum giving a public lecture on February 17th, so anybody in the region wanting to hear him speak can attend. A friend of mine at the museum will have more information on Monday regarding the time, ticket prices, etc.
Oh, almost forgot, Dr. hochberg also mentioned that there have been a number of recent strandings, sightings, and captures all the way up the West Coast, including Oregon, and some were recently caught off Vancouver Island as well.
Dr. Hochberg will be on CNN tomorrow at 2:00PM PST being interviewed - presumably - about these recent events. Check it out!
West Coast of Vancouver Island. Dr. Jim Cosgrove. One of the world leaders in GPO - he's spent (I believe; could be off by a bit) about 30 years studying GPO. Anyway, I'm telling you this via memory when I'm headed for bed after a long night of work, so hopefully I got all I heard on the phone this afternoon correct. Goodnight!