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Study of Giant Squid by cloning

See something in aquaria that would blow your mind.
  (+10, -4)
(+10, -4)
  [vote for,

Yes, yes, cloning, blah, blah, very bad, silly, fishbone, fishbone.

This is, however, a serious suggestion.

It is nearly impossibe to study Giant Squid (Architeuthis) in the wild, as their habitat is the very deep ocean. Sadly, also, bringing one to the surface usually kills it. One living specimen has been caught but it didn't live long.

It would be fascinating to be able to study such a creature in an aquarium, and also be an amazing visitor attarction.

Since cephalopods are a mollusc, for which reproductive cloning is a relatively well developed technique (they are invertibrates) it should be possible to take a nucleus from a giant squid cell and introduce it into the egg of a large but accessible squid, for instance the Humbolt squid, an agressive predator which lives near the surface off the west coast of Mexico and California; the alternative might be the egg of a Pacific Octopus.

Although the process might be wasteful, once a living baby giant squid has been hatched, all that is necessary to do is keep feeding it, and wait, while buiding a succession of bigger and bigger aquaria.

The only other problem may be to prevent Squiddy being stolen by agents of some shadowy Government agency who want to train him as some outlandish anti-submarine weapon ...

8th of 7, Apr 02 2008

(?) meet the neighbors http://www.thejamja...ages/GiantSquid.jpg
[Amos Kito, Apr 02 2008]

Not real. I just like the picture. http://wildonesonli...fish-deep-ocean.htm
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 03 2008]

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       Unusually, the objection to this idea isn't the cloning, but building a big enough aquarium. Maybe a fenced off bit of sea might be more appropriate?
wagster, Apr 02 2008

       Well, that might be good during the growing phase. But one the squid is fully grown, it would be nice to be able to see it. which would be easier in a transparent aquarium. In a true marine environment, it would probably spend most of its time lurking on thr bottom.   

       One of those underwter perspex tunnels or a viewing gallery might work, though. Squid are highly intelligent, and could be lured to the observation point by feeding at specific times, possibly with an associated signal.
8th of 7, Apr 02 2008

       //in a transparent aquarium//
They're the best kind - I really hate the opaque ones.
coprocephalous, Apr 02 2008

       Very true. Somehow it's unlikely that human-squid interactions on this scale are going to be "touchy-feely" unless it's in a rather negative sense ..... normally, it's the humans that eat the squid....
8th of 7, Apr 02 2008

       I like it [8th] and I agree that it is certainly achievable, but, the study of such a creature so detached from its natural environment would yield inaccurate, nay, erroneous results. The vast multitude of these species' behaviours are a direct result of their dark and extremely high-pressure environments. By growing them outside these elements you're effectively making a new creature; a bit like a study of a wild leopard but conducted on a domestic cat, in a cage, on antibiotics. Possibly on a respirator too. And its blind and deaf.   

       Anyway, what's needed is the underwater construction of an aquarium that can withstand enormous pressure from both the outside and the inside. A pressurised container that we can then bring to the surface. Apart form the fact that we'd blind everything in the tank when we brought it up we could at least look at them at the zoo through some plexiglass and go, "Ooooh! Pretty!"
theleopard, Apr 02 2008

       I would be satisfied to see a Humboldt squid in a tank. They are not so rare. I think they might be tough to keep.
bungston, Apr 02 2008

       Why not put a Humboldt squid in a cylindrical tank? The lensing would make it appear to be a giant squid...
wagster, Apr 02 2008

       <sits waiting for someone to post "fake giant squid magnifying aquarium" idea>   

       The live giant squid could be "viewed" using image intensifiers and very low light levels. The high pressure environment is probably not an issue. And pulling more of them from the deep ocean is a very bad idea since the brreding population is unknown. This sceme requres only a small amount of viable sqid tissue which could probably be obtained with very little or no harm to the donor.
8th of 7, Apr 02 2008

       I agree with you're idea very good and very possible.The only way to to it would be to build an observation station at sea something like in the movie deep blue sea because the squids cannot live at surface pressure and there is no current way of successfully raising the squid in captivity
dexhax, Apr 02 2008

       (Just picturing the mature giant squid overrunning the observation station...)
DrCurry, Apr 02 2008

       Wow... this would make an excellent execution device!   

       It would give executioners a great chance to practice their best pirate accent, poking and prodding the prisoner towards his most entertaining doom at the end of a plank.   

       Arrrr, a [+] for tampering with nature and amusing the kiddies.
TIB, Apr 03 2008

       I, for one, welcome our new Giant Squid overlords, and would like to remind them that I can be very useful in training people for their underwater farms.
Voice, Apr 03 2008

       mmm giant squid-burgers
FlyingToaster, Apr 03 2008

       mmm giant calamari.
Giblet, Apr 03 2008

       // giant calamari //   

       Mmmmmyes. But consider the size of the frying pan ..... and the smell of garlic; whole areas could be rendered uninhabitable for days ....
8th of 7, Apr 03 2008

       Don't forget the lemons! Calamari simply cannot be consumed by civilized people without freshly-squeezed lemon juice. It shouldn't take more than a bushel. Or two.
Canuck, Apr 03 2008

       Not to mention how many mouths a giant squid could feed if it were genetically modified with the butter gene. <licks lips tastefully>
quantum_flux, Apr 03 2008

       It's slightly disturbing that an idea which began as a proposal to study a giant marine mollusc has evolved in a relatively short time into an orgy of culinary excess aimed at the very creature the original idea was meant to benefit ......
8th of 7, Apr 03 2008

       Yes, but eventually the study of said creature would involve its death and subsequent autopsy, which we're just looking forward to so very hungrily...
Canuck, Apr 03 2008

       Eating will always be more popular than science.
wagster, Apr 03 2008

       //It's slightly disturbing that an idea which began as a proposal to study a giant marine mollusc has evolved in a relatively short time into an orgy of culinary excess aimed at the very creature the original idea was meant to benefit ......//   

       It was your idea to introduce a new food source into the human population though. Can't we use this for the study of predator prey models where the squid is the prey and we are the predator?
quantum_flux, Apr 03 2008

       Confronted by a glaring mob of slavering, eager halfbakers, with white napkins round their necks and clutching knives and forks, it seems there is little option but to aquiesce .... go on then, predate ....   

       Chianti, anyone ?
8th of 7, Apr 03 2008

       ha ha ha. How the best intentions are sullied by the mob...
theleopard, Apr 03 2008

       //the smell of garlic; whole areas could be rendered uninhabitable for days ....//   

       That's ok. We'll just call that area France.
Jinbish, Apr 03 2008

       I understand that giant squid are inedible. Their flesh is full of ammonium chloride crystals. Maybe it has to do with buoyancy control? I read that in Richard Ellis' book.   

       It occurs to me that Danes might like giant squid meat. They eat that Double Salt licorice with ammonium chloride.
bungston, Apr 03 2008

       // Danes might like giant squid meat //   

       The Scandinavian nation, or the breed of dog ? Or both ?   

       No doubt the Japanese would delight to eat it, if it tasted awful, and came from a creature on the verge of extinction.
8th of 7, Apr 03 2008

       "every conversation will, in time, descend to its lowest common denominator."
Voice, Apr 04 2008

       I saw something on the animal channel that shocked me today. There was a dead Big Blue Wale that was floating in the ocean, and it was completely gobbled down in a matter of minutes by a big swarm of White Sharks. That image in my head is what I think the halfbakers and myself would probably do to to your Big White Squid if we had the chance. You better perform your experiments in a top secret place where no baker has ever gone before, if there is such a place.
quantum_flux, Apr 04 2008

       Inside {Treon]'s head then .... a large empty space, devoid of intelligent life.
8th of 7, Apr 04 2008

       I thought that they were already able to catch 1/2" long larvae of the giant squid, but they don't know how to keep them alive.
Zimmy, Apr 04 2008

       [8th] Just out of curiosity, do you have links for the bit about cephalopod/mollusc cloning being well-developed?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 04 2008


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