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[Science Article]: Large Squid Fixing and Preservation Notes

tonmo

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#1
What does a marine biologist do with a large squid specimen when it's acquired? Dr. Steve O'Shea shares his notes with us on his processes:

LARGE SQUID FIXING AND PRESERVATION NOTES

This is great insight and valuable information -- you won't find this anywhere else on the Internet. Thanks Dr. O'Shea!
 

WhiteKiboko

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i have a couple of questions about the more mundane, non scientific aspects of squid preservation.... mainly financial type things....

do you ever give the people that bring the specimin in anything or are they simply donated? does the scientist or the organization (school/whatever) own the specimin? given that numerous museums are desparate for giant squids who decides who gets one? are the specimins simply loaned or is there something in return? if so do you try to 'auction' them off?

these questions may sound pretty bad, maybe they are...but they just popped into my mind when i read the article....
 

Steve O'Shea

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WhiteKiboko said:
- do you ever give the people that bring the specimen in anything or are they simply donated?
- does the scientist or the organization (school/whatever) own the specimen?
- given that numerous museums are desperate for giant squids who decides who gets one?
- are the specimens simply loaned or is there something in return? if so do you try to 'auction' them off?
Good questions WK
The specimens are donated to us; if we didn't have a request in for them they would be discarded at sea.

Ownership is a real grey area; to fix/preserve one of these animals down can take 50-100 rather labour-intensive hours, wheras it takes 2 minutes (if that) to throw one over the side of a ship. I think the fishermen are happy that the specimen is saved and some university/museum benefits as far as science is concerned, but often they do not want to be identified for fear of conservation reprisals (and they cannot be paid for the specimen either, although they get acknowledgement in fishing magazine articles and the likes). I don't talk ownership, they don't ask questions, we've never experienced a problem, and I end up gifting specimens (nothing financial in this) to other organisations (they simply pay the transportation and fixing/chemical costs). They then own the specimen.

Who decides who gets which one? Me (or it has been in the past). We've had numerous requests, too many in fact (not enough specimens), so value judgements are made all the time. Normally it depends on how much sleep I've had, but sometimes personalities do enter into it (I've deleted two requests from the whiteboard because of recent events).

And for the final one, no auctioning involved (we're non-profit). However, having said this, were someone to come along tomorrow and say that they would fund several student research scholarships in 'exchange' for the squid then they would go to the top of the list (I am flexible when it comes to things like this).
Cheers
O
 

tonmo

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Very very interesting.... now how can we leverage one of these to TONMO.com's advantage? :sly: Find a prospect with a very popular Website of interest, and make sure they give TONMO.com ample promotion... TONMO.com is accepting grants, too, btw... :sly: :sly:
 

tonmo

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#6
LOL, I'll start the bidding at $1! It would look GREAT over my fireplace.

:squid:
:x :x
 

WhiteKiboko

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#7
maybe not a whole one, but what about the gibblets from ones that've been roughed up and consequentially cut up?
 

Jean

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#8
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the notes, they make for interesting reading. We havn't had such large specimens as Messie or Archi sent to us but ya never know!!!!!!

We have had some pretty big Moroteuthis but have never preserved them, I suspect this was due to the difficulties of getting such a large robust animal to fix properly but.............. (hmmmmmm the lab manager's away at the moment :twisted: )

Re the "fish bulge" I found a 1kg Hoki rammed up the mantle of a Moroteuthis once! It was snaffled very quickly by our fish otolith specialist!

J
 

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