Some more giant squid photos from AUT

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by Infusoria, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. Infusoria

    Infusoria Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Hi everyone,

    These are some pictures of a giant squid that Steve is curating for public display. We had a lot of 'fun' getting this squid and its container off the ground and into a van this afternoon. Steve has some great pictures of this endeavour; he may post these when he has time...

    You will find pictures of this animal fresh, when it arrived here. Just scroll up the page.
     

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  2. Infusoria

    Infusoria Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Another

    This is one of Steve 'repairing' the squid...
     

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  3. Infusoria

    Infusoria Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Another

    Steve sewing up bits of the squid, I think it needs bolts through the neck...
     

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  4. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    :mrgreen:
     
  5. Phuntoon

    Phuntoon O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I bet that smells like fresh strawberries :tongue:
     
  6. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Stitching squid is like stitching butter; it isn't the easiest thing to do. Spent the best part of 10 hours sewing that squid up, and then broke the back (figure z), a chair, very nearly a saw-horse, and bruised the legs like never before getting that thing into a van. We so need a hoist!

    Will post pics later (the camera battery dead so cannot download).
     
  7. magikceph

    magikceph O. vulgaris Registered

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    are you sure its a giant squid, cause i saw one on discovery qand i was a lot bigger. Wait, what age is it?
     
  8. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Aaron. Yes, that is definitely a giant squid, Architeuthis dux, and a very large and heavy one too. It is destined to go on display, of all places, in a fish shop in Tauranga, New Zealand. They have constructed a special tank for it there. Unfortunately it is a little cramped (and difficult to work on) in the 2m tuna bin in which it currently sits (in the van), but when it goes on display it will be stretched out. This specimen (like so many) lack the tentacles, but I'm sure one day a set will be found for it. Many of the arm tips are gone, and most of the arms had to be re-attached/sewn and mended, but the final frankensquid looks pretty good!

    It is an almost fully mature female, and probably (although nobody knows for sure) about 1.5 years old. They don't live much longer (depending on what technique you use to age them they are a maximum of 1.5 years, 3 years or ~ 13 years beforethey reach maturity); if I had used one of those techniques this specimen would have been placed at ~ 1.5 years.
     
  9. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Here are a few before and after pics, as the animal is repaired. I still have a little to do, but am too beat right now to consider it.

    As you'll have noted from the earlier pics (when we received it; see link in Matt's first post), it was a little bent, there was a rope around it (and yes, this has left impressions), and the arms looked quite stumpy; I'll repost that pic later).

    The squid was in a tub of water, soaking the formalin out (nice smell to be over for 10 hrs), and periodically I would raise the water level, or empty it depending on what I was trying to do, or get access to.

    Here's the stitching effort, eye, mantle and fin.
     

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  10. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    A few other pics; there were pieces of arm everywhere - now each has a home somewhere on the animal. It was a real puzzle .... and I stuffed up one of them (suckers going big, small, then big again). Those are 'spare bits' about half-way through the day that lie atop the mantle; the lower ... whew, all spare bits accounted for and reattached.
     

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  11. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    The next step was to get said squid into vehicle. This is something I don't want to repeat in any great hurry. There are two of us there, although one of us is behind the camera (it looks like Matt did all the work!).

    Between photos there was much cursing and profanity!! This was not an easy exercise! (The chair holding one end of the tank up simply collapsed, and 200kg worth of squid and 75kg worth of tank came crashing down VERY quickly!!).

    Moral of the story .... don't try and shift a squid with a chair!

    The saw-horse was quite a sore horse at the end of this, having become trapped beneath and itself falling over.

    Don't ask how we got that squid and tank up onto a saw-horse and chair in the first instance! That was a feat!
     

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  12. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    But as all stories should end, this one ended happily, and the squid, tank and stuff was put to bed for the evening in the back of the van.

    The yard returned to normal, and we all went home to partake in a :wine:
     

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  13. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    As an aside, don't open the lid of that 3m stainless steel tank! The smell in there can be described only as 'not right'! Therein lies the sunfish skeleton, slowly breaking down with the help of some extremophile organisms. I'm in no hurry to reopen it!
     
  14. Heather Braid

    Heather Braid O. vulgaris Supporter

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    That's really cool. Where was it caught? It sounds like hours of hard work has gone into this so far, best of luck!
     
  15. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Next time, find a ramp! :grin:
     
  16. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I'm sooooo glad I don't have a car park in your building most especially on that level!!! It reminds me of the time Kerry & I visited and you were thawing an Archi in the carpark an there was a stream of melt water and squid glop pooling around the tyres of some poor souls car :yuck: bet they couldn't figure out where the smell was coming from later :lol:

    J
     
  17. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    What smell?

    Top to bottom, being lifted out of the vessel, opened at AUT, and stitched. Hopefully, soon, it will be on display and we get pics of it in the final tank.
     

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  18. myopsida

    myopsida Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Well Steven...if you look closely at the container the squid is in you will note at the bottom there are two grooves...these, surprisingly, are exactly the same width apart as the tynes on a fork lift truck! This device...seemingly unknown in Auckland, is quite useful..in fact you can even hire them for a few dollars - definitely less expensive than a new chair............
     
  19. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Why Sir M, Oh great pseudonym one. Should I reveal your identity to all? How unlike you to give me a hard time.

    Men have been hauling giant squid for tens of millions of years. Besides, I need the practice - there'll be near 500kg of squid to benchpress soon.
     
  20. Infusoria

    Infusoria Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Our way was MUCH funnier, and a much better story too...
     

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