Fish and aquatic news » octapus & squid http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news The latest news from below the surface Wed, 23 Oct 2013 11:30:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 New Kind Of Large Squid Making Waves http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1291 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1291#comments Wed, 17 Nov 2010 22:38:58 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1291 A brand new kind of large squid has been found by researchers while voyaging around on a research cruise in the southern part of the Indian Ocean.

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A brand new kind of large squid has been found by researchers while voyaging around on a research cruise in the southern part of the Indian Ocean.

This large squid, almost a meter long, belongs to the chiroteuthid family.

The squid which form a part of this family are long and thin, and have organs which produce light. The light producing organs help them attract their meals.

This large squid was discovered during an analysis of thousands of different samples which were brought in from the Seamounts cruise last year. The cruise is being led by a conservation group known as IUCN.

The project began a year ago when experts in the area of marine biology set out on a six week science expedition in the Indian Ocean.

The aim of the expedition was to shed some light on the mysterious seamounts – mountains under the water – located in the southern part of the Indian Ocean, and to help manage marine resources and improve conservation plans in the area.

“For 10 days now 21 scientists armed with microscopes have been working through intimidating rows of jars containing fishes, squids, zooplankton and other interesting creatures,” explains a spokesperson of the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, Alex Rogers.

“Many specimens look similar to each other and we have to use elaborate morphological features such as muscle orientation and gut length to differentiate between them.”

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Squids Could Hold Key To Providing Valuable Answers Into The Origin and Evolution of Hearing http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1216 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1216#comments Sun, 17 Oct 2010 20:16:29 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1216 Loligo pealeii, an ordinary run of the mill squid – most famous for being a source of food for many creatures in the sea – might just become a VIP in the science world, as it is making waves by providing tidbits and insights into the origin and evolution of the sense of hearing.

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Loligo pealeii Squids Could Hold Key To Providing Valuable Answers Into The Origin and Evolution of Hearing

Loligo pealeii

Loligo pealeii, an ordinary run of the mill squid – most famous for being a source of food for many creatures in the sea – might just become a VIP in the science world, as it is making waves by providing tidbits and insights into the origin and evolution of the sense of hearing.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, housed in a militaristic style building, is home to T. Aran Mooney, a biologist who is exploring the interesting theory: Can squid hear? Can they actually hear predators or enemies coming up on them? How do squid and other aquatic animals depend on sound to communicate, migrate, and interact on a day to day basis? Will the increasing amount of noise pollution we are pumping into the world’s oceans have a catastrophic effect on the squid, and other animals hearing ability, and ultimately, their survival?

“The sound in the ocean is increasing…commercial shipping, oil and gas exploration…those make a lot of noise,” Mooney explains. “And you don’t know how that is going to affect the animal unless you know what it hears.”

A postdoctoral scholar at WHOI, Mooney, has taken it upon himself to partake in seminal investigations into the hearing of the squid. His results were recently released this past Friday in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

This research has taken on a whole new light, as many aquatic animals rely on the squid, and if we are endangering its hearing ability, we are not only endangering our chances of finding out more about the development of the sense of hearing, but we could potentially throw the whole balance of the world’s oceans out of whack.

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Paul the Octopus Hanging up His Tentacles, Spain Wants to Send Him to Pasture http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/671 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/671#comments Thu, 15 Jul 2010 05:48:03 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=671 I'm sure you have all heard about the amazing abilities of Paul the Octopus. He had the uncanny ability to accurately predict the outcome of the outcomes of the games of the world cup.. Well, now he can hang up his tentacles and sit back in his tank in Oberhausen, however, a village in Spain is vying to give him a new home.

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I’m sure you have all heard about the amazing abilities of Paul the Octopus. He had the uncanny ability to accurately predict the outcome of the outcomes of the games of the world cup.. Well, now he can hang up his tentacles and sit back in his tank in Oberhausen, however, a village in Spain is vying to give him a new home.

This begs the question… How did he do it? It all started when someone, possibly as a joke, decided to place a single mussel in two different tanks with the different flags representing the teams, and supposedly he would select the mussel from the winning teams’ tank. This process worked rather well in 2008, where Paul only made one blunder, Germany didn’t win. However, this time around for the World Cup he had a 100% success rate!

No one can quite figure out why Paul has this uncanny ability, but there are many theories as to why he picked what he picked. Some say it could be based on a favorite color, and others say it might be based on smell. However he did it, he managed to be spot on with all his “predictions” for the world cup, warming the hearts, and sometimes the wallets, of fans around the world!

You would think Spain would be more appreciative of this amazing creature, considering he predicted their team would win.. However a small village has offered 30,000 Euro, to scoop up Paul, and not for his uncanny ability to predict the outcomes of games. They want to feature him in their Octopus food dish festival! How’s that for gratitude? Luckily for Paul, the citizens of Oberhausen will have none of that, and he’ll remain safely in his tank for the remainder of his retirement.

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Deep Sea Squid a Super Stud? http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/639 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/639#comments Sun, 11 Jul 2010 00:12:25 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=639 The sea holds many mysteries for us, one of which was the mating habits of the deep sea squid. This mystery has now been unraveled, as scientists have discovered a male squid with a humongous elongated penis.

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The sea holds many mysteries for us, one of which was the mating habits of the deep sea squid. This mystery has now been unraveled, as scientists have discovered a male squid with a humongous elongated penis.

The male squid’s penis is almost as long as its entire body, making it one of the oceans’ studliest creatures…

With this discovery, it really comes as no surprise to learn how the male deep-sea squid impregnates females of the species. He simply uses his well hung penis to shoot out blobs of sperm, which then make their way into the female’s body.

This discovery may also shed some light on just exactly why these giant squid mate in the depths of the ocean.

Dr. Alexander Arkhipkin, a deep-water fisheries expert of the Falkland Islands Government Fisheries Department, has explained how he and his team made this momentous discovery, “The mature male squid was caught during a deep-water research cruise on the Patagonian slope. We took the animal from the catch, and it was moribund with arms and tentacles still moving, and chromatophores on the skin contracting and expanding. When the mantle of the squid was opened for maturity assessment, we witnessed an unusual event. The penis of the squid, which had extended only slightly over the mantle margin, suddenly started to erect, and elongated quickly to 67cm total length, almost the same length as the whole animal.”

This sudden arousal of the deep-sea squid specimen really took the scientific team by surprise, however, it did help us solve the age old mystery of just how exactly deep-sea squid procreate.

All cephlapods are hard put to actually “get down to business” as their bodies are comprised of a closed hood-type feature, which forms a cephalopods body and head.

The creatures utilize this hood-type feature to move about in the water, and they need to ventilate to breathe, to top it off, they also hide their sexual organs inside this structure!

Shallow water cephalopods got around this problem by developing an arm to go about the task.

Their penises are short and produce smaller blobs of sperm, and then one of their available appendages is then used to transfer this sperm into receptacles located on the female of the species.

The actual location of these receptacles varies, and is either on their skin, or internal.

However, the deep-water male squid have a much more direct method, which was just injecting the sperm right into the waiting female. This was the giant mystery, as up until now, the general assumption was that these deep-sea squid had penis sizes comparable to other squid.

However, it appears that not all squid are created equal, and unlike their small penis bearing brethren, they have developed a huge cannon for the job of impregnating the females.

The squid uses his impressive member to actually reach inside the female, and inject the sperm directly to where it needs to go, to prevent it from being washed away.

However, how the sperm actually gets to the female’s reproductive organs, is still shrouded in mystery.

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If you’re in Portugal, don’t eat the dead octopuses washed up on the beach http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/494 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/494#comments Wed, 06 Jan 2010 23:34:09 +0000 William http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=494 Thousands of dead octopuses have washed up on a beach in northern Portugal. So far, no one has been able to explain what’s happened to them.

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Thousands of dead octopuses have washed up on a beach in northern Portugal. So far, no one has been able to explain what’s happened to them.

According to BBC News the incident is being called “an environmental disaster”, but the truth is that at this stage, we do not know if this is an environmental disaster or not. What we do know is that the dead animals cover a 5-mile stretch of Portugal beach near the city of Vila Nova de Gaia in the Porto District; a district chiefly know for storing and aging the celebrated Port wine.

Portuguese authorities have issued a statement warning the public not to eat the carcasses.

BBC News has posted a video from the scene:

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Indonesian octopus caught on camera disguising itself with coconuts http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/489 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/489#comments Thu, 17 Dec 2009 20:15:34 +0000 William http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=489 "It was hard not to laugh underwater and flood your [scuba] mask," says biologist Mark Norman who, together with fellow researchers from Melbourne's Museum Victoria, photographed an octopus crawling along the ocean floor off the coast of Indonesia with two coconut shell halves suctioned to its underside.

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It was hard not to laugh underwater and flood your [scuba] mask,” says biologist Mark Norman who, together with fellow researchers from Melbourne’s Museum Victoria, photographed an octopus crawling along the ocean floor off the coast of Indonesia with two coconut shell halves suctioned to its underside.

After finishing its journey, the octopus reassembled the coconut and squeezed itself into its homemade and very well camouflaged hiding spot.

The Australian research team also encountered 20 veined octopuses carrying coconut shells nearly twice as big as their 8 cm bodies.

Using tools is generally regarded as a sign of mental sophistication and octopuses are considered to be among the most ingenious creatures on the planet. They are the only invertebrates which have been conclusively shown to use tools, and research involving maze and problem-solving tasks has unveiled that they have both short- and long term memory.

When kept in captivity, octopuses often manage to sneak out of their tanks, e.g. to get to a nearby aquarium and devour its inhabitants at night. They are also known to board fishing boats in search of food and can open up holds to get to the cargo.

Their restricted lifespans limit the amount they can ultimately learn; some species live for at little as six months while others are known to reach an age of five years in ideal conditions. The males die within a few months after mating and the females pass away shortly after seeing their eggs hatch.

In some countries, octopuses are afforded legal protection not extended to other invertebrates and it may for instance be illegal for researchers to perform surgery on them without anaesthesia.

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19½ feet long squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/427 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/427#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2009 16:05:31 +0000 William http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=427 A 19.5 feet long squid – that’s almost 6 meter – has been caught in the Gulf of Mexico by a group of scientists from the NOAA’s* Southeast Fisheries Science Center and the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service. This is only the second known giant squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico and the last one was collected 55 years ago.

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giant squid 19½ feet long squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico A 19.5 feet long squid – that’s almost 6 meter – has been caught in the Gulf of Mexico by a group of scientists from the NOAA’s* Southeast Fisheries Science Center and the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service. This is only the second known giant squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico and the last one was collected 55 years ago.

The gigantic squid of 1954 was a dead specimen found floating around at the surface off the Mississippi Delta, while the 103 pound giant caught on July 30 this year was pulled up from a depth of more than 1,500 feet by NOAA’s trawling research vessel Gordon Gunter.

As the trawl net rose out of the water, I could see that we had something big in there…really big,” said Anthony Martinez, marine mammal scientist for NOAA’s Fisheries Service and chief scientist for this research cruise. “We knew there was a remote possibility of encountering a giant squid on this cruise, but it was not something we were realistically expecting.”

This is an incredibly rare find in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Dr. Michael Vecchione, director for NOAA’s Fisheries Service’s National Systemics Laboratory and a giant squid expert. “Giant squid have been found more commonly in areas of the world where there are deep-water fisheries, such as Spain and New Zealand, but this is the first time one has actually been captured during scientific research in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The capturing of the squid took place during a 60-day scientific study of sperm whale prey off the coast of Louisiana. The giant squid has now been preserved and sent to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum for Natural History.

giant squid2 19½ feet long squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico

*U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

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The octopi are listening http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/351 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/351#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2009 19:21:35 +0000 William http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=351 Since the early days of the 20th century, marine biologists have pondered one of the world’s most puzzling questions – if a tree falls in the ocean, can the cephalopods hear it?

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cephalopods The octopi are listening Since the early days of the 20th century, marine biologists have pondered one of the world’s most puzzling questions – if a tree falls in the ocean, can the cephalopods hear it?

Fish use their swim bladder to hear, but cephalopods – a group of marine invertebrates that includes octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautiluses – do not have any gas-filled chamber to use for this purpose and this has lead some scientists to suggest that these creatures are incapable of detecting the pressure wave component of sound.

A team led by sensory physiologist Hong Young Yan of the Taiwan National Academy of Science in Taipei has now, for the first time in history, been able to show that cephalopods can hear sounds underwater using their statocysts.

A statocyst is sac-like structure containing sensitive hairs and a mineralised mass. Fish can use their statocysts to detect sounds, so Yan suspected that other underwater creatures might do the same. After successfully showing that prawns use their statocysts to detect sounds underwater, Yan extended his experimentation from to prawns to cephalopods.

A quandary when researching cephalopods is their delicate bodies. When researchers wish to determine if an organism is capable of hearing or not, they normally attach electrodes to exposed nerves and measure how the nervous system electrically responds to sound. This type of invasive procedure can however easily injure a cephalopods and Yan was therefore forced to come up with a better method. Instead of attaching electrodes to exposed nerves, Yan placed the electrodes on the cephalopods’ body and measured the electrical activity in the brain. Thanks to this method, Yan could show that cephalopods do have a sense of hearing.

The lack of any gas-filled chamber means that cephalopods can’t amplify sounds the way a fish can, but their hearing is probably as good at that of prawns and similar invertebrates.

Yan now wish that his discovery will be used to further the understanding of cephalopod behaviour.

The key question which I would like to investigate is what kind of sounds are they listening to?” says Yan. “Perhaps they listen to sound to evade predators and can eavesdrop to sounds made by their prey. […]Squid are heavily preyed upon by toothed whales including

dolphins. So perhaps their hearing would aid them to avoid the pinging sounds made by

dolphins. […] Or, perhaps they even could make sounds to communicate among themselves. “

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Are octopuses older than we think? http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/239 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/239#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2009 22:48:39 +0000 William http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=239 The discovery of three new species of fossilized octopi in Lebanon has caused scientists to suspect that the first octopus appeared tens of millions of years earlier than previously thought.

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The discovery of three new species of fossilized octopi in Lebanon has caused scientists to suspect that the first octopus appeared tens of millions of years earlier than previously thought.

In a paper published in a recent issue of the journal Palaeontology, researchers Fuchs, Bracchi and Weis describes three new species of fossil octopus placed in two new genera: Keuppia and Styletoctopus. The species have been given the names Keuppia levante, Keuppia hyperbolaris and Styletocopus annae.

180px Enteroctopus dolfeini Are octopuses older than we think?The descriptions are the result of the fortunate discovery of three astonishingly well preserved octopus fossils from the Cenomanian, i.e. octopus that lived at some point between 93 and 100 million years ago.

Studying the history of octopi is difficult since the octopus, unlike dinosaurs for instance, is composed almost entirely of soft tissue; predominantly muscle, skin and viscera. When an octopus dies the body rapidly decomposes and vanishes, and extraordinary conditions are necessary for the animal to leave any fossil record behind.

Fortunately for science such extraordinary conditions must have been at hand in Lebanon some 100 million years ago, because the three newfound fossils are so well preserved that even traces of muscles, suckers, internal gills and ink can be distinguished.

This type of fossil is so rare that Mark Purnell, for the Palaeontological Association, remarked that finding an octopus as a fossil “is about as unlikely as finding a fossil sneeze”.

Before these three species were discovered, only one species of fossil octopus was known to science.

For more information, see the paper published in Palaeontology: Fuchs, D, G Bracchi and R Weis (2009) New Octopods (Cephalopoda: Coleoidea) from the Late Cretaceous (Upper Cenomanian) of Hakel and Hadjoula, Lebanon. Palaeontology 52, pp. 65–81.

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