Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Egg Sac Baffles Researchers
“It was 50-70 centimeters (19.5-27.5 inches) in diameter and looked like a huge beach ball. It was transparent but had a kind of thick, red cord in the middle. It was a bit science-fiction,” Svensen told newspaper Bergens Tidende’s web site.
The Svensens contacted associate professor Torleiv Brattegard at the University of Bergen, and other experts were notified to try and solve the mystery.
Colleague Arne Fjellheim, who works with Stavanger Museum, tipped off Brattegard that the organism resembled a photograph from New Zealand that he had seen. A zoology professor and squid expert in New Zealand corroborated by email – the peculiar gelatinous ball was a large squid egg sack.
“The gelatinous lump contains several fertilized eggs. This is not at all a common sight, because squids are some of the most inaccessible animals known,” Fjellheim told iBergen.no.
Fjellheim told Aftenposten.no that squid are found in such numbers along the Norwegian coast that they are a commercial catch, and used mostly as bait. Despite this, extremely little is known about their biology.