Squid Sucker-Marks On Swordfish

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by Clem, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    A swordfish loin came into the shop last week with a very interesting set of marks stamped into the skin.



    Unfortunately I do not know where the swordfish was caught, nor do I know its age, but those are clearly rows of squid sucker-marks, so clearly defined that individual teeth in the crowns can be counted. The robust teeth suggest something other than a giant, but a large squid nonetheless. Rather cool.

    Clem

    ps: Apologies for the fat image file, but I wanted my scanner to take a good and detailed pass.
     

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  2. Mike Bauer

    Mike Bauer Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Now that is something you don't see everyday. Very Cool!
     
  3. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Thanks, Mike. I'd been hoping to find something like this. I've seen a few wounds left by cookie-cutter sharks, which look very different. (Personally, I think cookie-cutter sharks should be re-named ice cream-scoop sharks, but, alas.) Sucker-marks are much more pleasant to look at than burrowing parasitic worms. Gah.

    Clem
     
  4. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Although they do add protein to your meal? (which will by definition be less than the amount originally consumed, so, #fail)
     
  5. Level_Head

    Level_Head Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Interesting find indeed!

    As an aside, it seems to me that the protein density of the parasitic worm is not automatically less than the tissue it resides in. The parasite has the advantage of partaking of blood supply (or tissue supplied by blood) for some time, and could thus build up a larger protein store. It suspect that, in practice, it will have somewhat less protein density than the fish's typical somatic muscle, but the proteins will be of a greater variety.

    Not to my taste.

    It's probably a very good thing that cookie-cutter sharks are small, and that they rarely encounter humans. They are wickedly efficient.

    The image makes me wonder about healing time of swordfish skin/scale structures.
     
  6. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    PS: That was obviously a joke :wink:

    What most people fail to realise is that sleeper sharks employ similar feeding tactics to cookie cutters, and they grow to gigantic sizes :shock:
     
  7. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    And then there are the worms that have expired and calcified within the swordfish's muscle. Not much protein but a good source of calcium. Bleh. The worms we do find are almost always lodged in the anaerobic muscle. It did occur to me to wonder if the sucker marks were old injuries that had enlarged as the fish grew, but I'd expect to see distortion of the circles if that were the case. The squid-marked sample showed something else of interest: the skin that had been latched-on to had separated from the tissue beneath it. Strong suckers.

    Sleeper sharks are spooky.

    Clem
     
  8. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Brings to mind these Dosidicus marks on a mako caught off the West coast of the US...

    These are not around the head, as is normally the case as a result of the squid's last ditch efforts at avoiding predation...

    [​IMG]

    But you don't have Humboldt, or was that Pacific swordfish, by any chance?

    PS: Do note the wonderfull sharp boundaries between the dorsal dark blue, the lateral lighter blue and the silvery white ventral part :wink:
     
  9. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Oh, shut up.

    There are some pics out there of another mako with sucker marks on the head, but as I recall the culprit was an arrow squid, or at least that's what the post's author said. It's unlikely that we would get Pacific sword, but not impossible.

    Clem
     
  10. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    :silenced:
     
  11. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Level_Head, here's something you might be interested in.



    This sword came into the shop last week. There aren't too many pelagic fish fast enough to run down a swordfish; swords have been known to spend time in the benthic zone, but this bite says "lamniform shark" to me, probably inflicted when both the sword and the shark were subadults.

    Clem
     

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  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Clem,
    Any clue what made the pits to the left of the shark bite?
     
  13. Level_Head

    Level_Head Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Thanks. You'd expect a matching set of marks on the other side. From what you've said, much healing time would have passed, not to mention size changes.

    Of course, somewhere out there the shark's grown larger too (must resist song lyrics), and would perhaps be interested in a second bite at the apple. Or here, a second nip at the Xiphias.
     
  14. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    They could be marks left by copepods, or the entry wounds left by burrowing trematodes.

    Clem
     
  15. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    I think this sword was snagged by a shark; only one jaw gained purchase. I saw something similar last year on a dead humpback that had been scavenged by a great white. The massive excisions of flesh were preceded by a crescent of punctures (lower jaw teeth). The bolts of blubber that were excised showed a pattern of punctures (lower jaw teeth) and slices (upper jaw teeth). The marks left on the pictured sword indicate teeth with blended cross-sections, both blade and cone.

    Clem
     
  16. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    More sucker-marks?



    I question the idea because the rings are aligned so closely with the color demarcation between dorsal and ventral areas of the sword's skin. I don't know if rings like those are a "natural" pattern of markings. If they are squid scars, they would indicate a squid that has a single row of suckers down the lengths of the arms, and that the sword had struck the squid so that one of its arms stretched down the length of the sword's body and gripped it. The slightly irregular spacing of the rings might indicate suckers on short stalks, and there do appear to be a few points on the ring interiors. There could be faint rings below the sharp row, visible on the left end of the pattern (first photo), suggesting that the squid had biserial suckers that found traction with but one row. Compared with the first sample, these rings are a bit smaller in diameter.

    The first swordfish sample was much more clear-cut a squid pattern, since the rings were biserial, ran vertically, showed clear tooth points, and were located closer to the mouth of the fish. So, I think the marks on the new sample are sucker rings, but I'm not fully confident of that.

    The photos were adjusted in brightness, contrast, and midtone settings to bring out detail.

    Clem
     

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  17. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Here's a new one.

    This swordfish came into the shop on Saturday. The sucker marks appeared as a cluster below the left pectoral fin, which had been cut out.



    What have we got, here? Not obvious in these photos are the minute punctures that constitute each ring; the dentition on these sucks was very fine, and doesn't show the enlarged teeth of, say, Dosidicus. Zoom in and you'll see what I'm talking about. We've got two medial rows of large suckers, and much smaller sucker marks on the outer margins of the medial rows. I think we're looking at the stamp left by the manus and dactylus of a sizable tentacular club. Thoughts?

    Clem
     

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  18. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    This is an awesome thread, sorry I've been missing it. What kind of "shop" is this?

    I don't know about post #16, but the rest do indeed look like squid sucker marks.

    How many swordfish typically come through this shop? Do you get to inspect every one? Curious how often you see something like this.

    Adam Clem, Swordfish Inspector :smoke:
     
  19. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    And, here's one for OB: The signature of the wily cookie-cutter shark. This section was cut from a sworfish's belly, on the same day that the latest sucker-marked sword came into the shop. A good day for pop-up marine bio lessons.



    Clem
     

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  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Clem, I have often seen reference to the holes left by these sharks but not such a clear photo of the razon clean cuts on the edges.
     

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