shoaling in giant squids?

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#1
It seems like it's often assumed that giant and colossal squids are solitary creatures. It just occurred to me, do we have any real basis for thinking that? Certainly, feeding a shoal of architeuthis or mesonychoteuthis is no small matter, but the "common sense" argument that they'd have to be solitary to get enough food doesn't appear to apply to whales, and most other squid and cuttle species do shoal in groups, so why do we tend to think the giants are solitary?

Admittedly, it seems like a lot of deep-water cephs are solitary (vampyroteuthis, histoteuthis, etc.) so I can see there being some reason to think they might be solitary, but I also can see some reasons to think they might not... but Dosidicus gigas run pretty deep, too, and they shoal...

Anyone think the notion of a shoal of giants is possible? ridiculous? amusing?
 

Tintenfisch

Architeuthis
Staff member
Moderator
#2
First thought that springs to mind is that I've never heard of more than one Architeuthis being caught at once - many other squid species that are taken as bycatch turn up in at least pairs. Of course, a pair of Archis might blow the net, plus 'shoaling' for a species that big might entail considerably larger distances between individuals, meaning that only one at a time would be in the way of the net... pure speculation though.
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#3
Tintenfisch;88203 said:
First thought that springs to mind is that I've never heard of more than one Architeuthis being caught at once - many other squid species that are taken as bycatch turn up in at least pairs. Of course, a pair of Archis might blow the net, plus 'shoaling' for a species that big might entail considerably larger distances between individuals, meaning that only one at a time would be in the way of the net... pure speculation though.
Wasn't there an Architeuthis trawled a few years back where there was some reason to believe they caught the female during mating, and ripped her away from the male, or something like that? Of course, even if they don't swim together normally, they'd presumably be close if they were mating... I wonder how good they are at getting out of nets, or dodging them... presumably, most of these nets aren't designed to catch large cephalopods...
 

Steve O'Shea

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#6
monty;88206 said:
Wasn't there an Architeuthis trawled a few years back where there was some reason to believe they caught the female during mating, and ripped her away from the male, or something like that? Of course, even if they don't swim together normally, they'd presumably be close if they were mating... I wonder how good they are at getting out of nets, or dodging them... presumably, most of these nets aren't designed to catch large cephalopods...
It happened so long ago now Monty that I've forgotten the details, but yes, one female and an extra pair of tentacles. (I couldn't quite figure out what was going on with that one when I was defrosting it; to begin with I thought I had some mutant specimen with an extra, and then 2 extra tentacles.)

Two of the clubs were quite a bit smaller than those two attached to the female (possibly a male with it).
 

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