Nature Blog Network

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Last Common Ancestor Between Squid and Octopus?

Deep Sea News reports on the recent finding of the OCTO-SQUID! This is potentially a new species of Mastigoteuthid squid that was sucked up by the deep-water pipelines of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai'ian Authority (NELHA), a state-run agency. These pipelines suck in water from 3000 ft. and occasionally suck in the odd critter, such as the rattail and satellite medusae that accompanied the "octo-squid".

Of course NELHA would like to name the species if it is new. I say why not, it was their pipelines that discovered this rarity. From the sounds of Honolulu's Star Bulletin, NELHA may work in conjunction with the University of Hawai'i to assist in a more rigorous sampling effort, potentially offering up a treasure trove of deep-sea species that can be collected intact and alive. Pretty much my biggest wet dream. Yes, I will be applying for a job there when I finish my PhD. "Will describe species for meager salary and health benefits"


  1. Latest I heard PZ Myers speculated that the fragile tentacles might have simply broken off during capture, sigh. It doesn't make Mastigoteuthids any less cool though.

    Octopuses and vampyromorphs are believed to have separated in the late Devonian, so the decapod/octopod ancestor must be truly ancient. Octopuses have the worst ghost lineage I've heard of ('cept maaaybe that vert Lazarussuchus) with a gap of 132 million years in one place. Funny, I always got the impression from popular literature that they were a recent radiation.

  2. Vampyromorphs are very cool indeed. One day I will post on them. Thanks for the fossil cephalopod link!

    I guess we can't test the 8 or 10 tenacle hypothesis until we find one in hospite and count them.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.