Friday Squid Blogging

It's from last September, but it's the biggest giant squid news in years -- a live giant squid caught on camera:

In their efforts to photograph the huge cephalopod, Tsunemi Kubodera and Kyoichi Mori have been using a camera and depth recorder attached to a long-line, which they lower into the sea from their research vessel.

Below the camera, they suspend a weighted jig -- a set of ganged hooks to snag the squid -- along with a single Japanese common squid as bait and an odour lure consisting of chopped-up shrimps.

At 0915 local time on 30 September 2004, they struck lucky. At a depth close to 1km in waters off Japan's Ogasawara Islands, an 8m-long Architeuthis wrapped its long tentacles around the bait, snagging one of them on the jig.

Kubodera and Mori took more than 550 images of the giant squid as it made repeated attempts to detach itself.

The pictures show the squid spreading its arms, enveloping the long-line and swimming away in its efforts to struggle free.

Finally, four hours and 13 minutes after it was first snagged, the attached tentacle broke off, allowing the squid to escape. The researchers retrieved a 5.5m portion with the line.

See also this article from Nature.

Posted on January 13, 2006 at 2:17 PM • 22 Comments

Comments

Roy OwensJanuary 13, 2006 4:19 PM

Architeuthis does practice 'security through obscurity', but their obscurity is obtained through hiding at extreme ocean depths.

Is there a lesson here for us?

Rob MayfieldJanuary 13, 2006 5:20 PM

@Kevin Davidson "Sounds cruel."

I couldnt help but notice that one of the gentlemen was from "the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association". Given the way the Japanese "watch whales" and perform their "scientific research" on them I'd say the squid was lucky ...

onanoumysJanuary 13, 2006 7:41 PM

>>
Architeuthis does practice 'security through obscurity', but their obscurity is obtained through hiding at extreme ocean depths.

Is there a lesson here for us?

Their security has been developed in an open community of squids for generations. That it has been hard for humans to figure out what they do is tribute to its effectiveness.

~Cheers

Davi OttenheimerJanuary 13, 2006 8:47 PM

"Bottom-trawling by fisheries is destroying squid egg masses on the seabed, Dr O'Shea claimed."

Ah, so it is safer for the squid to carry her eggs after all.

"That it has been hard for humans to figure out what they do is tribute to its effectiveness."

Or the ineffectiveness/inattentiveness of humans. "Hey, look, it's the moon."

BixbyJanuary 13, 2006 10:15 PM

While I am happy for Science that a giant squid has finally been found alive, I can't help but wonder why (or if) PETA isn't all over this...

AnonymousJanuary 13, 2006 10:18 PM

Security or Security Technology? ;)

I don't mind, I just hope you don't wander too far afield, Bruce, you are (imho) more important to the average jo's security than anyone in the Bush Admin could ever be...

Keep it up! :)

Dave CJanuary 14, 2006 8:01 PM

@Roy Owens
"Architeuthis does practice 'security through obscurity', but their obscurity is obtained through hiding at extreme ocean depths."


No. The Architeuthis practices 'defence in depth'.

RogerJanuary 15, 2006 5:22 PM

> Friday's special is calamari.
and
> mmm, sushi....

No. Architeuthis has a very high concentration of ammonia in its tissues, so high it would likely burn your mucous membranes. It is completely inedible to humans -- although apprently not to whales.

Call it "security through toxicity", a well know scheme from the natural world!

BNJanuary 15, 2006 9:38 PM

Just way cool ... security angles are obvious, but not the point -- giant squid == way cool -- ask anyone with kids. One point about security is not to lose your imagination.

gayaJanuary 17, 2006 2:18 AM

Dear Bruce!
I'm sorry for having posted four identical comments yesterday. I had problems with my network and misinterpreted the delayed publication as some technical defect on my side.
But you could have left one copy - Full censorship of my contribution was not appropriate... dicontent, yours

Bruce SchneierJanuary 17, 2006 1:10 PM

"I'm sorry for having posted four identical comments yesterday. I had problems with my network and misinterpreted the delayed publication as some technical defect on my side.
"But you could have left one copy - Full censorship of my contribution was not appropriate... dicontent, yours"

Sorry. The idential comments were from different names, and the text didn't make sense to me. I figured it was a troll.

Please repost the comment.

gayaJanuary 18, 2006 1:25 AM

I like squids (and especially octopodi) very much because they exhibit such surprising abilities. I just did not like the methods employed in the name of science that forced the squid to tear off it's tentacle. I wanted to express this this by citing Nietzsche's 'Gay Science', meaning that I find this not very funny.
Thank You for your attention!

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