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Squid Eats Marlin (Older News)

Clem

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#1
A few years ago, there was some brief discussion at TONMO of a marlin caught in New Zealand waters that bore signs of predation by one or more large squid. The details were sketchy and the full story wasn't known, but a forum user at another site mentioned it (by way of replying to the latest images of a live Mesonychoteuthis) and gave enough information to make Google happy. "Squid Attack!" (First-person account, click here).

There are three gruesome images of the stripped, sucker-bruised Black marlin at The Fishing Show's image archive (click here). Look for the "Munched Marlin."

Interesting story, and :oshea: makes an appearance, too.

Cheers,
Clem
 

tonmo

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#2
What a way to go!
 

Clem

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#3
Hi Tony,

Yes, an even rougher way to go than "beak-locked-with-mate-before-swallowed-by whale," which has sentiment going for it, at least.:boohoo:

Attached is an enlargement of one of the marlin pics, color-enhanced to bring out the sucker marks, which appear large relative to the boot-tip visible in the lower left of the shot. Coffee-cup large? Eh, perhaps espresso cup large, but that's plenty big.

On big squid overload,
Clem
 

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cuttlegirl

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#4
:goofysca: If I ever get to go to New Zealand,remind me not to go in the ocean - those chunks were caused by a big beak... I have never been afraid of sharks (even saw a little one (4-5 foot) once while surfing), but intelligent, large, squids are another thing.
 

DocidicusGigas

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#6
"An eight-armed and seriously evil squid, AKA the lightning squid of death from hell."

I love you, Steve. Thank you. That phrase is going to come up in everyday conversation a minimum of, like, five times a day from now on.
 

OB

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#8
Clem;88137 said:
Hi Tony,

Yes, an even rougher way to go than "beak-locked-with-mate-before-swallowed-by whale," which has sentiment going for it, at least.:boohoo:

Attached is an enlargement of one of the marlin pics, color-enhanced to bring out the sucker marks, which appear large relative to the boot-tip visible in the lower left of the shot. Coffee-cup large? Eh, perhaps espresso cup large, but that's plenty big.

On big squid overload,
Clem
These sucker marks are about the size of those mysterious markings underneath the boat of a few threads ago, the one on possibly a giant squid hitching a ride on a sailing yacht for two weeks on end. Could this be Archie? I didn't know its suckers became that big?
 

Steve O'Shea

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#9
Hi Clem. Sorry to be the dumbest fella around, but can you repost that pic with some arrows pointing to the sucker-ring scars? I think I am missing something.

When they first brought samples of skin to me to look at, and I saw the pics of the fish, I was blown away. The scars on the skin were consistent with those we made using actual hooks of Colossal Squid. The only problem with this is that the squid (Mesonychoteuthis) is not known from anywhere remotely near where the marlin was caught (the very top of New Zealand). Moreover, I am unaware of ANY squid up that far that could inflict this type of damage to a fish of this size, unless there was a pack attack (and I'm not aware of any brute like Taningia that does this - they appear to be solitary animals based on their incidence in fisheries bycatch). For this reason I still have difficulty accepting this as squid damage to this fish (even though I attribute it to it in the fishing show piece - with reservation).

Sure, we put a Colossal hook against the marlin skin and made a comparable scratch. But that's not to say that I couldn't use a ball-point pen and make a comparable scratch, or even the lid of a peanut butter jar (not that I did, but a number of things could have left such 'scratches' on the hide of the fish). If my memory serves me correctly I was looking more at scratches and scrapes on the hide, rather than sucker rings, but if there were sucker rings I would be more comfortable with 'squid attack'.

I don't know enough about what small sharks can do to a fish frame, although I trust the fishing-show folk when they say that what happened to this fish is inconsistent with 'shark attack'.
 

Clem

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#10
Here you go, Steve. Red arrows drawn to what look like rows of sucker marks, yellow arrows drawn to areas showing circular patterns of scratches and a large, very distinct ring with a central puncture. (I was inclined to think that the last might have been made by a gaff of some sort.) The rows of small circles below the yellow equator sure look like suckers to me, especially at far right, where there's what looks like a clear bi-serial print.

Cheers,
Clem
 

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Steve O'Shea

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#11
:oops:

:shock:

It was staring me in the face!

OK, Clem, looks like there's something rather large up that way, squid-wise!

No one squid could eat that much fish; the stomach caecum simply couldn't accommodate it. It has been hammered by a few squid I fear!
 

OB

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#12
As far as I know, the blue spots are the Marlin's normal coloration: it's the large grey circular markings with a spot in the middle that make me fear the water...
 

main_board

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#13
ob;89658 said:
As far as I know, the blue spots are the Marlin's normal coloration: it's the large grey circular markings with a spot in the middle that make me fear the water...
I agree. You can see the blue spots on the regular, unenhanced version of the image at their site. I don't see any reason why sucker pressure would change the skin pigmentation. Besides, marlin have blue spots anyway, which become particularly intense when hunting (apparently their prey are particularly sensitive to the colour and it confuses them).

Cheers!
 

Steve O'Shea

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#14
You just have to love the twists and turns in science!! (I am less convinced that the large grey spot is evidence of a sucker ring/scar.)
 

Clem

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#15
Steve O'Shea;89661 said:
You just have to love the twists and turns in science!! (I am less convinced that the large grey spot is evidence of a sucker ring/scar.)
I'm with you on both counts. About that gray ring with the hole in the center...I dunno, is there such a thing as a buccal hickey? Ku's footage of Taningia attacking the camera rig made me think about that. Maybe there's no suction involved, just a hard hit, and the gray circle is the muzzle-stamp from the buccal surround, with the oblong puncture in the center caused by the tips of the beak?

Also, I have to wonder if the squid bites came after some other animal had at the marlin. A shark could have done a lot of the initial damage, then squid/squids could have worked it over, obliterating the shark's bite marks.

Cheers,
Clem
 

cuttlegirl

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#16
Clem;89725 said:
I'm with you on both counts. About that gray ring with the hole in the center...I dunno, is there such a thing as a buccal hickey? Cheers,
Clem
Hmmm... my male cuttlefish give each other hickeys, not always round but it could be possible. I still strikes me that the upper left part of the marlin looks like a shark shaped bite (crescent shaped).
 

OB

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#17
A Buccal Hickey (you have to love us) would be 7 pointed, I guess. Not too sure about the obvious grey circle with center spot being a sucker mark either, certainly not in isolation. The gash out of the left gill cover looks like a hybrid of cookie cutter and squid. Cookie cutters can't have done this, they're hit and run, not piranha's in feeding frenzy style. Large predatory squid Humboldt style do hunt in groups, at least according to the footage I've watched so far, but sharks are still the safest bet, I reckon...
 

Clem

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#18
Here's a related item.

Carl Safina's posted an interesting pic of a Mako shark at his blog (caught as part of a tagging program) showing pronounced sucker marks on its flank. The scars are attributed to Dosidicus. Neat photo and interesting background, as observers have, apparently, been encountering Mako's with similar injuries only recently.

Cheers,
Clem
 

OB

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#20
That is very cool, indeed. Not for the mako, mind you.
 

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