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Mesonychoteuthis Robson, 1925

Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni Robson, 1925

Colossal Squid

Richard E. Young and Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
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The genus contains a single species.
Containing group: Taoniinae

Introduction

Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni is the largest of all cranchiid species with adults reaching over 2 m in mantle length (Nesis, 1982). It is a circumpolar Antarctic species with young found north to the subtropical convergence (Nesis, 1982).

Brief diagnosis:

A taoniin ...

Characteristics

  1. Arms
    1. Hooks present on arms.
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      Figure. Oral view of half of the arm crown (arms I-IV, arm I at top) of a juvenile M. hamiltoni, 86 mm ML. Drawing from Voss (1980), p. 395.

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      Figure. Dorsal view of the brachial crown of a large M. hamiltoni. Photograph by Martin Collins.

  2. Tentacles
    1. Tentacular club with hooks.
    2. Diagonally set pairs of suckers and pads on distal 2/3 of tentacular stalk.
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    Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

    Figure. Oral view of the tentacular club of a large M. hamiltoni. Note the very small marginal suckers. Photograph by Martin Collins.

  3. Funnel
    1. Funnel valve absent.
    2. Funnel organ: Dorsal pad with three papillae.

  4. Mantle
    1. Tubercles absent in adults, present in paralarvae and juveniles.

  5. Fins
    1. Fins ovate, without anterior lobes.
    2. Fins terminal.

  6. Photophores
    1. Two ocular photophores: crescent-shaped photogenic region in medial photophore and small, oblong photogenic region in lateral photophore within concavity of first.
    2. Arm tip photophores probably absent.

Comments

This is the only cranchiid that has hooks on the arms. Characteristics are from Voss (1980).

Life History

The young stages were described by McSweeny (1970). Hooks first appear on the arms at about 45 mm ML.

Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

Figure. Top - Dorsal view of an advanced paralarva of M. hamiltoni, 23 mm ML. Bottom - Ventral view of a juvenile of M. hamiltoni, 86 mm ML. Drawings from Voss (1980, p. 395, fig. 10 c, b).

Distribution

M. hamiltoni is known only from Antarctic waters. A map of its distribution can be found here.

Other Names for Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni Robson, 1925

References

6413

Information on the Internet

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni
Reference modified from Voss, N. A. 1980. A generic revision of the Cranchiidae (Cephalopoda; Oegopsida). Bull. Mar. Sci. 30:365-412.
Sex Female
Life Cycle Stage subadult
Size 1250 mm ML
Copyright © 1980 Bulletin of Marine Science
Scientific Name Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni
Location New Zealand waters
Comments Steve O'Shea is standing next to the squid. Arrow marks anterior edge of mantle.
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
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Copyright ©
About This Page
Drawings from Voss (1980) Printed with the Permission of the Bulletin of Marine Science.


University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
Laboratoire Arago, Banyuls-Sur-Mer, France

Page: Tree of Life Mesonychoteuthis Robson, 1925. Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni Robson, 1925. Colossal Squid. Authored by Richard E. Young and Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003). The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Young, Richard E. and Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003). 2006. Mesonychoteuthis Robson, 1925. Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni Robson, 1925. Colossal Squid. Version 26 September 2006 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Mesonychoteuthis_hamiltoni/19556/2006.09.26 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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