TONMOcon V - Presentations

DWhatley

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Tony Morelli (TONMO)
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Thanks over and over to Tony for creating TONMO and this event. My lasting impression at the end is always that there is not enough time with all the attending cephheads, a renewed interest in the projects outside my hobbyist world and an internal smile that I am a part of this dynamic group.

Side note, this is a repost of my original summary, it is one of the few things that did not port to the new site. No new info but wanted to get it re-entered before I lost the content.
 

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DWhatley

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Richard Ross (Thales)
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Larger Pacific Striped Octopus

Thanks Thales for all the time and coordination to provide this venue location, introduction to all the West Coast presenters and Sunday's glimpse at what goes on in the back room. Fantastic location and site! Being able to see the Larger Pacific Striped as well as the Marginatis was a personal thrill even if you nixed my request to bring a sleeping bag to park in front of the tank. Ceph sex seemed to be much of our theme this year and the LPS is no exception with it's confirmed frequent beak to beak mating position. See more about this amazing rediscovered animal in Rich's TONMO blog post, Forgotten octopus rejects solitary lifestyle , on his personal, Packedhead website and in the CAS press release, California Academy of Sciences to Publicly Display Rare Octopus Species for the First Time
 

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Margarita Upton (CAS GPO caretaker)
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Caring for a Giant Pacific Octopus

Margarita talked about training the GPO using positive enforcement (splashing and touching) on the ARM that was showing desired behavior, training to come to the keeper with a visual cue (whiteboard) and astro turf containment for an open topped tank. On Sunday we enjoyed single file entering the pump and chiller area and a front of display feeding session.
 

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Bret Grasse (Bret Grasse MBA)
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Coming Ceph Attractions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Bret gave us a virtual tour of the upcoming "Tentacles Octopus, Squid and Cuttlefish" exhibit for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The entire exhibit will focus on cephalopods and will contain more variety than any existing exhibit. A "secret" display tank has been designed for the possibility of housing a variety of deep water animals should they become available and displayable over the life of the exhibit. We have a 100% agreement of attendees that TONMOcon VII should be held in Monterey, perfect timing for the display to be mature and fully populated.
 

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OIaf Blaaw (OB)
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Ammonite Soft Structure Anatomy

Olaf suggested that ammonites might look and act more like the extant vampyroteuthis than the more often suggested nautilus. Swimming backwards with a shell would make the detritus feeding a bit cumbersome but the absence of soft tissue preservation keeps us guessing.


 

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Roy Caldwell (Neogonodactylus)
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Lunch and a Movie


Roy filled our lunch time with a few of his photos and discussion on behavior observations, particularly mating behavior and the differences seen between species. Most TONMOers will have seen Roy's incredible ceph photography and will agree with Mucktopus' comment that a coffee table book is in order! Again, this year, Roy donated numerous posters for our raffle and AGAIN I did not win one! Surely TONMOcon VI will bring success but I am seriously thinking about how I can rig the outcome!
 

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Crissy Huffard (Mucktopus)
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Wild Courting Abdopus


Crissy discussed Abdopus habits and particularly courtship (we had a lot of ceph sex discussions ). It appears that the female is not particularly choosy if a male figures out how to approach her but will give a male display if she "has a headache". I have often begged for help with IDing animals that are suspect as coming from Indonesia and her use of the complex name over specifying aculeatus reinforces that she has repeatedly mentioned that there are likely numerous animals that appear similar, belong in the complex designation but may not be aculeatus.
 

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Aaron Evans (GPO087)
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Taxonomy and the Glass Squid

Aaron plays with dead things and described the difference between taxonomist and a biologist, siting that the taxonomist identifies physical traits that are common to all animals in a given classification. Finding specifics and then validating the classification in cephalopods has been a confusion for centuries. Preservation methods and the number of species to study is challenging but it allow him and his ceph "nome" to travel the world in search of definitions.
 

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Denise Whatley (DWhatley)
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Identifying Commonly Kept Octopuses

In the hobbyist world, knowing what species is in your aquarium is helpful for piece of mind but knowing, with some environment exceptions, is not critical to keeping when we stay within the commonly kept animals. D provided a few hints on why we don't know what enters our tanks and how to look for clues to identify the animals we enjoy at home.


 

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Greg Barord (gjbarord)
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Nautilus Field Research


Greg created a slide show that visually brings home the understanding that animals are becoming extinct in our life time at an alarming rate. He and his team are promoting awareness of this ancient ceph in the classroom, the fisheries and the statistical records in an effort to remove the nautilus from being next on the list. This year's Monty award donated to the http://savethenautilus.com/ effort started by elementary school students who have become an active part in spreading the awareness.

 

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TONMOCON IV (2011): Terri
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