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Vampire Squid And The Evolution Of Cephalopod Sex

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Squid Lady Parts

This Bobtail squid was imaged by the Deep Discover ROV in Atlantis Canyon, is less than one foot...

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Cephalopods have been rocking my world since I was in grade school. I pursued them through a BA in marine biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, followed by a PhD dissertation at... Read More »

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If you are the sort of person who enjoys the wacky creations of children--whether genuinely or ironically--then you must watch this video, found via Islands Weekly. Definitely put the sound on, because it is about a thousand times better with young Cyrus' narration:


It's all festive and stuff! My favorite part is the extremely self-satisfied expression on the squid's face when he says "Yum."

(I feel obligated to point out that candy canes are probably not the best bait for catching squid, and teuthoid tree decorations would get very stinky very quickly.)
The Jaffe Laboratory at UC San Diego posted some lovely videos of market squid mating aggregations off La Jolla in Southern California. Check them out here.

The first one is just classic: murky green water, and a seemingly endless field of squid mating, spawning, and dying. The piles of "egg fingers" they've produced hint at the enormity of the next generation--most of which will be eaten before they can take part in their own orgy.
Do sperm whales use sonar to stun giant squid? In a word: maybe. I delved quite enthusiastically into the topic last year, and came out tantalized and frustrated by limited evidence.

So I was very excited to see an article in the Smithsonian called The Sperm Whale's Deadly Call. Is this new research, finally showing once and for all that sperm whales knock out their prey by very loud shouting?
I missed reporting it when it happened at the end of November, but a group of Indian fishermen caught a rather larger squid than they were expecting:
This rare squid, caught by the fishermen of King Jesus boat, looks like a mini shark. It is about three feet in length and two-and-a-half feet in breadth. 




The location was the port of Malpe, on the Arabian Sea, and the species is undeniably Thysanoteuthis rhombus, the diamondback squid.
To recap: in 2011, the California market squid fishery caught tons of squid (118,000 tonnes to be exact) and was all set to close. However, some fishers noted the continued abundance of squid in the ocean and petitioned to keep catching.

Then Oceana spoke up on behalf of the squid, with an argument neatly summarized by Geoff Shester, Oceana's California program director, as Protect Calamari, Save the Whales:
Slow Food's Michele Rumiz has posted a ruminative piece about squid fishing on Unije, a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea:
Every November, the island calls its aficionados to fish squid (called lignjada in Croatian). . . . No sounding leads, nets or electronic devices: they fish using togna - line, and totanara as bait. This is why the more than 20 fishermen involved could manage to fish only a little more than 50 kg of squid in 4 hours. It might seem like a lot, but it's nothing compared to an industrial fishery, which would get the same result in a few minutes with a much smaller crew.