The Case of the Mystery Squid

What do you do with a squid that doesn’t belong? In 1995, a collection of eastern Pacific squids was donated to the Smithsonian — but one specimen didn’t fit into any known family of squids. It had wide fins that looked almost like elephant ears, and skinny arms that had been severed a few inches below the squid’s mantle. Together with a slightly larger juvenile specimen in the collections and a paralarva (baby) from Hawaii, this odd-looking specimen led to the identification of a whole new family of squids: the Magnapinnidae, or bigfin squids.

But that wasn’t the end of the story.

A few years later, researchers in deep-sea submersibles began spotting large and very strange squids. They had long spaghetti-like arms — reaching 20 feet (7 meters) — that bent like elbows. They were so unusual they were nicknamed “mystery squid” by Smithsonian and NOAA researcher Dr. Michael Vecchione.

By comparing videos of these “mystery squid” with the juvenile bigfins in the Smithsonian’s collection, scientists identified the strange squids as adult bigfins. With the help of long-dead specimens, a modern-day mystery was solved.

via: The Ocean Portal

This post is posted on Wednesday 17 April 2013.
Currently has 452 notes
Tagged as: this thing scares me so much omg ocean sea animals deepsea deep sea nature underwater science
452 notes - Show notes
  1. pyrosmile reblogged this from devhalena
  2. whoopeedo reblogged this from queenhedorah
  3. rocks-in-my-head reblogged this from queenhedorah
  4. admirableasian reblogged this from queenhedorah
  5. queenhedorah reblogged this from thekrakening
  6. thekrakening reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  7. paigert7243 reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  8. radlantis reblogged this from leedlematiti
  9. leedlematiti reblogged this from underthevastblueseas and added:
    AHHHHHH
  10. diverpunk reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  11. dragonfucker reblogged this from jyzavi
  12. jyzavi reblogged this from lenieclarke
  13. lenieclarke reblogged this from earthandscience
  14. paynoattentiontothisblog reblogged this from crusingaltitude
  15. keiyoshi reblogged this from commonoctopus
  16. kimberwy reblogged this from mad-as-a-marine-biologist
  17. twostrongarms reblogged this from desliz
  18. paige-undefyned reblogged this from inbilla-sig
  19. inbilla-sig reblogged this from buttswana
  20. sting-like-jelly reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  21. callista-curnow reblogged this from desliz
  22. lighthousebeams reblogged this from matemesiis
  23. theurbanwildling reblogged this from seantheartist
  24. holyhookersonfirebatman reblogged this from britdogg
  25. galeantrophy reblogged this from britdogg
  26. britdogg reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  27. crusingaltitude reblogged this from paynoattentiontothisblog
  28. fergatroid reblogged this from desliz