Friday Squid Blogging: Colossal Squid was a Lethargic Blob

Fierce deep-sea predator? Not so much:

"We are looking at something verging on the incredibly bizarre. As she got older she got shorter and broader and was reduced to a giant gelatinous blob, carrying many thousands of eggs," he says.

"Her shape was likely to have affected her behaviour and ability to hunt. I can't imagine her jetting herself around in the water at any great speed, and she was too gelatinous to have been a fighting machine.

"It's likely she was just blobbing around the seabed carrying her brood of eggs, living on dead fish, while her mate was off hunting."

Posted on September 5, 2008 at 4:36 PM • 8 Comments

Comments

Valerie HensonSeptember 5, 2008 6:57 PM

When will the stereotyping of differently sized squid as lazy drifters stop? First, the eminently quotable O'Shea told us for years that the giant squid hung motionless upside down and waited for fish to blunder into its tentacles - an idea completely refuted by the Japanese giant squid video. Now he thinks that female colossal squid are "blobbing around" while their never-observed mates are off hunting fish.

I've decided that O'Shea is a mediagenic nut and try not to file away anything he says in the "fact" category of my brain.

Peter E RetepSeptember 5, 2008 7:34 PM

Very impressed by the observation[?] that
the male goes hunting and returns
to feed the female with captured dead fish.

Is it on film, or witnessed, or a supposition?

YllaSeptember 5, 2008 7:39 PM

I don't think that was explicit.
I think that dead fish must
somehow just rain down
on the momma squid.

Dom De Vitto September 6, 2008 2:10 AM

Is their any evidence that ANY squid live in pairs ?

I'm highly dubious about the supposition based on a single occurrence - not really science.

It's noteworthy that many super-deep creatures are gelatinous, so it may just be that females can never come up from the deep...

Frankly, when you're that size, anything coming near you is a meal, so hunting vs ambush is purely based upon the flow of new food passing through - why travel when you can live on what passes by?

SejanusSeptember 8, 2008 3:30 AM

squids living in pairs is a real breakthrough in biology science. The source is The Onion news I believe...

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