Where are Architeuthis books?!

Discussion in 'Architeuthidae' started by Archi, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Archi

    Archi Cuttlefish Registered

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    Lately, I've been searching through library after library for a book about Architeuthis or at least decent info. Unfortunately all I've come up with is zoological journals or invertebrates books with only a few sentences about Architeuthis. So far, I found 1 book, "The marine fauna of New Zealand. Cephalopoda : Oegopsida : Architeuthidae (Giant squid) / by Ellen Celia Förch". If anyone knows of any good books, I'd appreciate it if they could post!

    (I hope this is a legitimate topic to start a thread on!)

    Thanks
    Archi
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    This seems like a not only legitimate but excellent topic!

    The books I have that are at all relevant for Architeuthis information are:

    1) The Search for the Giant Squid by Richard Ellis: this is a mainstream book by a popular author/ journalist, although he did interview a number of scientists and read a lot of scientific papers. It's very detailed, but I seem to remember that it's a bit heavy on the literary rather than literal telling of details, so it mixes facts, legends, rumors, and hypotheses a bit freely... still, I recommend it as a "natural history overview." He also covers giant squids in an earlier book, Monsters of the Sea but I think the content of that is pretty much expanded into Search for the Giant Squid. This is a 1998 book, so it doesn't cover a lot of the new specimens and pictures from Steve and Dr. Ku, though, unless he's published a second edition or something.

    2) The Brains and Lives of Cephalopods by Marion Nixon and John Z. Young. This is the posthumous publication of J.Z. Young's lifelong work with cephalopods emphasizing their nervous systems. It has chapters on many families of cephs, describing them generally and then going into details on their nervous systems, with lots of histology slides and diagrams of nerve connections and such. The section on Architeuthis is fairly detailed, and, as many chapters I've seen, one of the better anatomical descriptions, as it is for many species. However, it's really mostly useful if you're interested in the brain anatomy, innervation of mantle muscles, location of the brain in the cranium, and so forth, so it's mostly not all that general, and it's only 9 pages out of an expensive 392 page book...

    3) Outside and Inside Giant Squid by Sandra Markle: This is a children's book, but it's primarily showing a dissection of an Architeuthis specimen by Clyde Roper. It has some fantastic pictures of the anatomy shown, and, although at about a 4th grade level, is accurate in its descriptions of squid in general and the dissection. If you want glossy color pictures of squid anatomy, this makes a great coffee table book, even if it's aimed at little kids...

    4) Animals of the Ocean, In Particular the Giant Squid by Dr's Haggis-On-Whey: This book is complete nonsense, and is an utterly lousy reference on Architeuthis, but if you like Monty Python's style of humor, you'll probably enjoy reading it anyway... I found it worthy of a spot on my cephalopod bookshelf. It also discusses Rene Magritte, including his lesser known work "MY BAD, C'EST UNA PIPE."

    I seem to remember there are a few overviews of what's known of Architeuthis published in a few journals... there was a whole issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society dedicated to J.Z. Young and his work that I believe had a section on it, although it was probably pretty similar to what's in Nixon & Young (#2 above.) Architeuthis is mentioned a bit in Hanlon & Messenger's Cephalopod Behavior but mostly in passing or hypothetical ideas, since we no one has ever observed Architeuthis behavior in any meaningful way. There are probably entries in the various taxonomic guides, Norman's Cephalopods: a World Guide has a few pages and some pictures of spermatophores, and the FAO Species Catalog which is available online as a PDF (the old, not yet revised volume 3, Roper, Sweeny, and Nauen) only has 2 pages and outdated information... tolweb's page is pretty much better. I don't have a copy of Nesis, so I don't know how it's covered there.

    Hope this helps (except for #4, which is just there for amusement value.)
     
  3. Archi

    Archi Cuttlefish Registered

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    :shock:I'm speechless......THANKS!!!!!!

    Time to go searching!
     
  4. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    There is at least one children's book dedicated exclusively to giant squid:

    5) Giant Squid: Mystery of the Deep by Jennifer Dussling, Illustrated by Pamela Johnson (with Photographs). This would seem to be a second grade level book or so, but it is probably more comprehensive than you are thinking. The illustrations make up the bulk of the content, and they are fairly realistic. There are a few real photos of an Architeuthis autopsy, because "Chapter 3" deals with the real-life logistics that Dr. Neil Landman went through to get a giant squid sent over to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. Our own TaningiaDanae wrote this review of the book.
     

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