More cephalopods in the news
May 29, 2010
Bringing things back to our own temporal stomping grounds, the Holocene (aka, Now), here are two news stories that serve as nice addenda to a couple of recent posts.
First, we have some new research about the metabolism of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, Sensational Squid #2;
Summary: A study published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom finds that M. hamiltoni is not a ferocious hunter as often imagined, but rather a slow, passive ambush predator. The researchers measured the metabolic rates of smaller cold water squid species and scaled up the results to account for the size of the Colossal Squid. Their analysis indicates that the Colossal Squid has a very low metabolic rate, low energy requirements, and moves very slowly. The study team estimates that a single 11 pound fish can sustain a 1,100 pound squid for 200 days.
The next story is directly related to last week’s Argonaut video;
Summary: In a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, biologists Julian Finn and Mark Norman (both of Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Australia) have found that female Argonauts use air bubbles trapped in their shell-like egg cases to control their buoyancy. When wild Argonauts lost the air bubble, they were observed quickly swimming to the surface to take in more air. They positioned their bodies within their cases to create an air-tight seal and then descended to a depth where the water pressure compressed the trapped air enough to achieve neutral buoyancy.