Old-New Mesonychoteuthis Specimen?

Clem

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#1
Hi Folks,

Jean brought Imagequest3D.com's great photo library to everyone's attention in a Journals & Photos thread; there are beautiful cephalopod shots to look at, most ones I hadn't seen before. Two squid pics credited to Peter Herring (with whom ob seems to be familiar) REALLY got my attention though. They're titled "Antarctic Cranch Squid," and show what looks to be a subadult Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni. Go to the link below, the two shots are in the middle of the page.

Stealthy Mesonychoteuthis Photos (click here)

I say "stealthy" because these shots don't pop up in image searches for Meso; they do pop up if you're looking for Antarctic squid. Besides, I'd never seen these shots or heard of this specimen before, and I spend a lot of time looking for this stuff.:roll: Peter Herring's photos are copyright 2002, as most of his Imagequest shots are, so we've no date of capture for the moment. And there's a distorting, honking-big Imagequest logo, stamped in the middle of each viewable shot, which falls right atop the Meso's brachial crown! Still, lots to see. Right, ob? :wink:

Cheers,
Clem
 

tonmo

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#2
Nice catch Clem, I hadn't seen these either. The watermark is indeed annoying but looks like a nice one / in pretty good shape. I can't understand that blue discoloration and there seems to be a "puddle" near the fins of the same color, but it looks weird... i.e., unnatural.
 

tonmo

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#3
You can really see both eyes nicely in the 2nd pic!

Would this be a juvenile?
 

Clem

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tonmo;87847 said:
I can't understand that blue discoloration and there seems to be a "puddle" near the fins of the same color, but it looks weird... i.e., unnatural.
Hi Tony,

Yeah, it threw me too. The interior lining of subadult Mesonychoteuthis mantle is black, a finding of Dr. Steve's colossal squid necroscopy of 2003. Depending on how translucent the mantle is, maybe that blue cast is an artifact of the black interior? Dunno about the tail. Hey, is that a measuring rule of some kind next to the mantle?

Clem

Edit:Tony, I can't tell if those are well-preserved eyes or not. They might very well be (oh please let them be) but the shapes also roughly correlate with curves and corners of the Imagesquest stamp, so I just can't be sure.
 

Steve O'Shea

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#6
:shock:

That's a small but very nice one alright! Scaling things from the boots in the frst of the two images I'd say that plastic rule was either 30 or 40cm long.

That watermark is a pain, but I'd say they do look like jolly nice, very large googly eyes!
 

Clem

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#8
Thanks, Argonautidae! Good finds. Wonder if the 18" ruler means that the boat (looks like the pics were taken shipboard) was crewed by metric holdouts.
 

tonmo

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#9
Darn, I just realize I don't know where my copy of Monsters of the Sea is!

FWIW I've enlarged the image and highlighted the two eyes.
 

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Steve O'Shea

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#10
... I'm actually wondering if this is a specimen that we have in the office, which is about this size (but doesn't look anything like this anymore!).
 

Steve O'Shea

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#11
Click here and you'll see some very interesting photos recently taken of a live Mesonychoteuthis. We're not sure if this specimen was saved/retained; it doesn't appear so.
 

Clem

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#12
Steve O'Shea;87876 said:
Click here and you'll see some very interesting photos recently taken of a live Mesonychoteuthis. We're not sure if this specimen was saved/retained; it doesn't appear so.
...Steve, those shots are spectacular. So's your sense for understatement. Holy Crap!Now I'm gonna stick my neck out and say that in the third pic I can see an eye and the siphon. Zoom in!

Wow.:notworth:
 

Phil

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#14
Just a thought, but perhaps some kind volunteer would like to try to contact the poster of those images to try and obtain some larger versions for us?
 

Clem

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#16
Attached are three much larger versions of the photos referenced above. THIS IS NOT THE 450KG MESONYCHOTEUTHIS making headlines, it's another, likely smaller animal that may not have been preserved. The photographs are dated 8 January 2007, and were received via private correspondence. The sender received them from the captain of a longliner shortly after the encounter with the squid.

They brought this beast up along the Ross ice shelf (S.Georgia Islands) fishing for the Patagonian Tooth Fish (AKA Chilean Seabass). He says it is not the first time he has caught one, just the first time he was able to get some pics of it. He said the mantle alone was 12- 14 ft long.
This much of the story has been online for over a month now, having first posted on 18 January, but the site requires registration to view the pics. I'd really like to acknowledge the correspondents involved, but they're Anonymous for now. They've probably been getting a lot of mail in the last 48 hours, too. Hopefully the story will be told by the players soon, but for now: :notworth:

...and THIS IS NOT THE 450KG MESONYCHOTEUTHIS!

Clem
 

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CapnNemo

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#17
By the Power of Grayskull!

This is incredible stuff! Amazing work Clem!

It looks like they are trying to get it aboard, yet do I understand correctly that nothing was saved from this Colossal?
 

OB

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#18
So that's why the proportions of the head appear so different in both specimens, good call, Adam!

Interesting to see it appears to be not wishing to let go of the toothfish, rather than being hooked itself...
 

Clem

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#19
Ob,

That weird beak photo from the Russian site you mentioned...is it the one attached below? I've attached a pic of the 2003 Ross Sea specimen's beak (with Steve's hands on it) for comparison. You're right, the mystery beak appears to be larger. So, which specimen did it belong to, one we know about or one that's been under the radar?

Cheers,
Clem
 

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OB

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#20
That is indeed the one we discussed over a nondescript Irish ale during the Boston nanocon :wink:

Two options: the one with the thumb ring is Kat's hand, certainly more dainty than that of Steve "Ahab" O' Shae's, or we ARE looking at a separate, potentially larger specimen! The shadow cast on the index finger shows the size difference not to be an artefact of perspective, I dare the owner of said finger to repeat this experiment in vivo :shock:
 

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