Giant squid in Japanese fishing net


Metro in Britain writes about this video from Japan:

Elusive giant squid found in fishing net off the coast of Japan

Monday 13 Jan 2014 12:10 pm

It’s usually one of the mysteries of the deep – but an elusive giant squid has been found in a fishing net off the coast of Japan.

The 4m (12ft) beast was found by fisherman Shigenori Goto swimming in one of his fixed nets about 70m underwater off the coast of Sadogashima island.

After it was brought to the surface, the squid – later found to be male – died.

‘This is the first time I’ve seen such a large squid,’ Mr Goto told reporters in Japan.

The giant squid was taken to a local government marine research institute in Niigata for research.

Giant squids are rarely seen because of the depths at which they live.

The first footage of a live adult was not taken until 2002 and the largest one recorded by scientists was almost 43 feet long.

A recently reported sighting of one in California proved to be a hoax.

Squids and other invertebrates can probably feel pain: here.

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Squid swiming in the Netherlands, video


This is a video about a squid, swimming in the Oosterschelde estuary in Zeeland province in the Netherlands, in June 2013.

Ronald Faber made the video.

This is the squid species Loligo vulgaris.

Ecomare museum squid: here.

Dutch squids in love, video


This video shows mating Atlantic bobtail squids.

The video was recorded by Jos van Zijl, while diving at night in Grevelingen lake in the Netherlands.

What a beached whale ate, new research


This video is called Northern Bottlenose Whale Species Identification.

In 1956, a female northern bottlenose whale beached near Oudeschild village on Texel island in the Netherlands.

Recently, the contents of its intestines were investigated at Ecomare museum on Texel.

Arthur Oosterbaan of the museum investigated squid bills.

This is called A close-up video of Boreo Atlantic Armhook Squid, Gonatus fabricii in the deep waters of the Canada Basin.

Most were bills of the Boreo Atlantic armhook squid (Gonatus fabricii).

The others were Gonatus steenstrupi, a bit more southern species.

Sperm whales off Scotland


This video says about itself:

A baby sperm whale learns to swim alone while its mother hunts deep below.

From Wildlife Extra:

A pod of five sperm whales sighted inshore off North West Scotland

Giants of the sea enjoy Scotland’s warming waters

February 2013. An extraordinary winter sighting of five Sperm whales off the coast of North West Scotland this week could be a reflection of climate change and warming sea temperatures, says a leading marine scientist.

The Sperm whales – one of the true giants of the oceans – were first seen by creel fishermen between Loch Torridon and South Rona on Monday. They initially thought they were Humpback whales and alerted boat operator Nick Davies from Hebridean Whale Cruises, based at Gairloch, who is involved in a project collecting cetacean (whale, dolphin and porpoise) data for Sea Watch.

First sighting

He went out to the location, and when he arrived was astonished to recognise Sperm whales diving together for food – the first time he has ever seen them.

Dr Peter Evans, director of marine conservation research charity Sea Watch, was able to confirm the sighting from his photographs and says: ” In past decades, most records of Sperm whales in British waters have been of lone adult males around Scotland mainly off the Northern Isles and the Hebrides. Increasingly, however, adolescent males have occurred in our waters, sometimes in groups of 5-10 individuals.

Inshore

“Sightings of groups of Sperm whales have tended to occur mainly in summer so this winter sighting of a group is notable not just for the time of year but for its inshore location. The species normally lives in waters of 1,000 metres or more depth, beyond the continental shelf edge. Here they have sought out the deepest area of NW Scotland – the Inner Sound.”

“The increased occurrence of winter sightings in Scottish waters could be a reflection of climate change, with their main prey, squid, becoming more abundant locally in recent years, resulting in animals staying through the winter to feed rather than travelling into lower warmer latitudes.”

Sperm whales

Sperm whales are amongst the largest mammal species in the world. Adult males can weigh in at up to 45 tonnes – the iconic London Routemaster double decker bus weighs less than 8 tons, unladen!

Nick Davies explains: “I was excited at the prospect of Humpback whales, but never expected to see Sperm whales.

“When I was about 8-9 miles away I could see their spouts – it looked like a flotilla of yachts and as I got nearer it was obvious from their flukes (tails), that they were Sperm whales. There was one enormous animal and four smaller ones, and they were synchronised diving, going down for 30 minutes or so at a time.

“Fishermen have been telling me that for the past four or five years they have been seeing increasing amounts of squid in their nets, and it seems that this was perfect for the Sperm whale.”

The sightings, made on Monday February 18th were in waters one mile east of Caol Rona in the Inner Sound between the islands of Rona and Raasay – close to an area where the in-shore waters are at their deepest at 1,000 ft.

Sperm whale ID

Sea Watch is now analysing Nick’s photographs to see if they can be match the tail fluke markings in the trailing edge to any individuals included in a North Atlantic catalogue of individuals photographed from locations as far apart as the Azores and Madeira to Iceland and Norway. Matching of individuals between locations gives us a better idea of the movements of this wide-ranging species. Individuals have already been matched between the Azores and Norway (Andenes and Tromsø). And in 1997, a photo image from Andenes matched a male stranded on the west coast of Ireland.

According to Sea Watch’s national database, there have been just 94 separate sightings in British waters since 1974, with the largest group on record being of 20 animals seen off Mousa in the Shetland Islands in 2007.

Sperm whale facts

Length: Newborn calves are 3.5-4.0m long. Adult females are 8.3-11.0(15.0)m 27.4- 36.3(49.5)ft and can weigh up to 14 tons. Males grow to around 11.0-15.8(20.5) m / 36.3-52.1(67.6) ft (adult male) and can weigh 35-45 tonnes.
Head: The sperm whale has a huge square head (up to one-third total length in male), and under-slung lower jaw.
Fin and Markings: No fin but distinct triangular or dorsal hump two-thirds along body, followed by spinal ridge. Corrugations on skin gives the sperm whale a shrivelled appearance. Dark brown or grey in colour.
ID: The bushy blow of a sperm whale is directed forwards and to left – 1.5-5.0m high; the species may lie log-like on the surface; broad, triangular and deeply notched tail flukes thrown into air.
Lives: up to 70 years.
Feeds: on squid, octopus and other fish.

February 2013. The ships of the Sea Shepherd Society, currently in the southern ocean doing their best to disrupt and halt the Japanese whalers, have clashed with the Japanese whaling factory ship, the Nisshin Maru: here.

Scientists are delving deep into the travels of whales – thanks to high-tech tracking devices – to try to help protect them: here.

Giant squid, video


After our earlier giant squid blog post, now this video.

The video says about itself:

Jan 8, 2013

(Video from NHK/NEP/Discovery Channel, with permission.)

A giant squid has been videotaped in its deep-ocean habitat for the first time.

This is an excerpt from Discovery Channel’s MONSTER SQUID: THE GIANT IS REAL, which premieres on January 27, 2013 at 8PM ET/PT as the season finale of CURIOSITY.

The scientists and filmmakers undertook 55 submersible dives, totaling 285 hours, some at depths greater than 3,000 feet, to capture this encounter with a giant squid, estimated to weigh 600 pounds.

More on Dot Earth: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/?s=%22giant+squid%22

And here.

Giant squid on film, first time


Giant squid in the Pacific, photo: Discovery Channel

From AFP news agency:

Giant Squid Filmed in Pacific Depths

Analysis by Christina Reed

Mon Jan 7, 2013 04:56 AM ET

Scientists and broadcasters have captured footage of an elusive giant squid, up to eight meters (26 feet) long that roams the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

Japan‘s National Science Museum succeeded in filming the deep-sea creature in its natural habitat for the first time, working with Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the US Discovery Channel.

The massive invertebrate is the stuff of legend, with sightings of a huge ocean-dwelling beast reported by sailors for centuries.

The creature is thought to be the genesis of the Nordic legend of Kraken, a sea monster believed to have attacked ships in waters off Scandinavia over the last millennium.

Modern-day scientists on their own Moby Dick-style search used a submersible to get them into the dark and cold depths of the northern Pacific Ocean, where at around 630 meters they managed to film a three-meter specimen.

After around 100 missions, during which they spent 400 hours in the cramped submarine, the three-man crew tracked the creature from a spot some 15 kilometers (nine miles) east of Chichi island in the north Pacific Ocean.

Museum researcher Tsunemi Kubodera said they followed the enormous mollusc to a depth of 900 meters as it swam into the ocean abyss.

NHK showed footage of the silver-colored creature, which had huge black eyes, as it swam against the current, holding a bait squid in its arms.

For Kubodera it was the culmination of a lengthy quest for the beast.

“It was shining and so beautiful,” Kubodera told AFP. “I was so thrilled when I saw it first hand, but I was confident we would because we rigorously researched the areas we might find it, based on past data.”

Kubodera said the creature had its two longest arms missing, and estimated it would have been eight meters long if it had been whole. He gave no explanation for its missing arms.

He said it was the first video footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat — the depths of the sea where there is little oxygen and the weight of the water above exerts enormous pressure.

Kubodera, a squid specialist, also filmed what he says was the first live video footage of a giant squid in 2006, but only from his boat after it was hooked and brought up to the surface.

“Researchers around the world have tried to film giant squid in their natural habitats, but all attempts were in vain before,” Kubodera said.

“With this footage we hope to discover more about the life of the species,” he said, adding that he planned to publish his findings soon.

Kubodera said the two successful sightings of the squid — in 2012 and 2006 — were both in the same area, some 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo, suggesting it could be a major habitat for the species.

The giant squid, “Architeuthis” to scientists, is sometimes described as one of the last mysteries of the ocean, being part of a world so hostile to humans that it has been little explored.

Researchers say Architeuthis eats other types of squid and grenadier, a species of fish that lives in the deep ocean. They say it can grow to be longer than 10 meters.

Discovery Channel’s “Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real,” premieres on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 8/7c as the season finale of Curiosity.