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unknown pelagic egg mass


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#1 seannash

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 08:17 PM

ok guys.... help me out on this one.

i am brand new to this board. this is the second time here.

on my fifteenth trip to Andros Island, i found this thing. it is pretty obviously a pelagic egg mass of some type, but... ?

it was quite a beautiful sight really. my guess is that it floated in over the reef from the Tongue of the Ocean (6000ft.) just on the other side of the reef.

we were snorkeling in about ten to fifteen feet of water over a series of three large blue holes known locally as "The Caverns". this is just north of South Bight and just East of Mangrove Cay on Andros Island, Bahamas.

sorry about the one image. i have about ten and all are over 2500 pixels. i just realized i couldn't post larger (more pics just uploaded to album). please contact me and i will get much better pics to you.

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#2 FreeShark

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 12:00 AM

Looks like a some kind Pyrosoma. These strange drifting creatures look gelatinous but are actually rigid and surprisingly hard to the touch. They are not one animal but a colony of hundreds of tiny tunicates that form a tube, closed at one end and open at the other. The tube is covered with short, slender, pointed projections (papillae) and if you look closely, a tiny reddish organ is visible inside the translucent body of each of the little tunicates.



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#3 Leslie

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 07:19 AM

There's more information and pictures of a pyrosome at http://www.mar-eco.n..._pyrosome_story

#4 mandarinfish

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 08:45 AM

There's more information and pictures of a pyrosome at http://www.mar-eco.n..._pyrosome_story

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Wow, sounds like it would have been very cool to see at night too!

#5 derway

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 09:12 AM

The pix don't really look like the creature in the article, to me...
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#6 Giles

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 09:30 AM

I am assuming thats the out of water and in water difference or the dead or alive difference.

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#7 seannash

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 09:49 AM

responses MUCH appreciated...

however, this thing is whisper-thin. i spent about twenty minutes swimming around it... moving my hand rapidly to hit it with a current of water and it would almost come apart. then, the little "strands" of magenta-colored pearls would return to their tube-like shape.

i did some searching for that type of colonial tunicatre and i DID find something that someone *thinks* looks "like a pyrosoma", but is much larger.

there are pics HERE that look very similar: http://www.divebums....rosoma_big.html

video of it is here: http://divefilm.com/...lms/indexC.html . this actually appears about halfway through the video.

i will try to attach a little clip of the detail of this thing. when looking close up, it just looks more like an egg mass. please e-mail me if you would like this full image or a link to where they are. or... if you know someone i should show these to.

is it possible that there is some other life stage of a tunicate colony like this that might look more... like these images?

swimming with this reminded me of the oarfish video brian kakuk shot a couple of years ago in the tongue of the ocean off andros island.


*still very odd to me*

close_detail1.jpg
Sean Nash

(http://www.biologica...al/petition.pdf)

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;-)

#8 seannash

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 01:48 PM

yeah.....

the more i look up the whole pyrosoma, colonial tunicate thing
the less i think it fits.

these things were REALLY loose "strings" of what looked to me to be pearlescent eggs of some sort. back on the boat all i could think about was if it were an invert egg mass... how BIG of an invert would we be talking about? very interesting idea.

see, the thing is... when you look up close at these little jellylike strands than contain the little magenta *spheres*... remember that when hit with a current of water from my hand... they would part. yes, part. they would spread open to the open water about one to four inches and then come back together. at first i felt as if the slightest current would tear the thing to shreds. then, after playing with it, i realized it could take quite a bit of abuse and still come back together.

i guess it would have to in order to have a prayer of surviving intact for any time at all in the open ocean.

i sure wish i had a real camera so i could relay this find a little better to you guys.

in due time, in due time.
;-)
close_detail2.jpg
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#9 Leslie

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 03:55 PM

Sean - Okay, that is weird. Send a message to Dave Wroeble, jelly guru and operator of the Jellies Zone (www.jellieszone.com) His email is wrobel2@verizon.net Don't forget to let us know if the mystery is solved.
Cheers, Leslie

#10 seannash

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 05:15 PM

I did just that....... I will keep you posted.
;-)

Thanks Leslie,

Sean
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#11 maractwin

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 03:02 PM

I'm pretty sure that it's an egg mass from a pelagic squid. Looks like the photo on page 178 of Norman's Cephalopods: A World Guide.

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#12 seannash

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 04:25 PM

now THAT i can believe.......

the first thing i thought of was molluscan egg mass.

but MY that is a big one.

what squid do you suppose this could be from?

that is certainly one REALLY large mass

and i kick myself for that sighting happening on

a quick honeymoon snorkel trip (without any real way to take a sample)

as opposed to one of our typical trips to Andros.

with 6000ft. right off the other side of the reef there...

who knows what we might find.

anyone see the oarfish video shot a couple of years back

by brian kakuk?
Sean Nash

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;-)

#13 Leslie

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 11:13 PM

I just pulled out my copy of Norman. Sean's picture really does match well. James Wood, our moderator for the Scientific Photography forum, is a cephalopod specialist. Obviously we need to get his attention!

#14 ellenm

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:07 AM

http://tolweb.org/tr...teuthis_rhombus :-)

#15 cookmedoc

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:08 PM

This "thing" is up to 5 meters in lenght and floats here in the central Philippines, about 1 to 3 m deep below the surface. I've seen one ten years ago and we photographed two during the latest 2 years. One near the Camotes Islands, one on Mactan Island (Hadsan). See http://www.poppe-ima...age_info.php#fs

These animals are well known by fisherman here who pretend they sting and there are even cases where people were killed.

I've mailed photos to the MNHN, Paris, where my malacological friends referred me to the jellyfish experts, they referred me to University of Liège, Belgium, but then I got other things to do and it went out of the mind. This Critter Identification section is fantastic, so maybe some of you know about this.

In a couple of books I've seen it as "eggs of giant squid" but this is impossible. Nothing to do with squid or octopus eggs.

This giant animal, or colony of animals, moves slowly. Shape is a tube.

Very curious to learn more on it.
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#16 acroporas

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:15 PM

See previous discussion...
http://wetpixel.com/...?showtopic=9009

No one here knows what it is.

[edit, I merged this topic with the previous discussion]
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#17 Leslie

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:23 PM

Hi Guido --
We had this one come up before. Take a look at http://wetpixel.com/...wtopic=9009&hl=
Not THE giant squid but a large squid! James Wood, a cephalopod expert, agreed that it was the egg mass of a pelagic squid, as has some other cephalopod people I asked.

#18 cookmedoc

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:23 PM

Thank you William, I'm new to this list. Have read in diagonal the infos and it is amazing. At least we now know this is a cosmopolitan animal(s).

'll take the energy to contact Liège on this. It is of course advised for anybody who sees this to take a sample for expert examination - but carefull.

Extra info: here in the Visaya's the fishermen call it "Sabay".
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#19 acroporas

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:29 PM

Ha, I beat you leslie. Though your post was a little moe informative.
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#20 cookmedoc

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:35 PM

Dear Leslie,

cannot agree on this Cephalopod egg thinking, despite what experts say. That's why we need samples of this badly. One of the best references with good shots we have here in office is Cephalopods in Japanese waters by Tsuchiya & Yamamoto (2002). Unfortunately the texts are in Japanese with sparse English localities and of course names in Latin. Amazing photos in there.

On pages 70-71 there are great photos of a large pelagic squid producing an egg mass. These eggs do not form a moving tube but are dispersed in the water (clearly visible on the shoulder of a diver next to it). And I never heard of stinging eggs.

On the other hand, in the same book, there is a foto of a Sabay (let's name it as such, as this is a common name in wide use here) taken in Okinawa by Kitagawa Nobuo. But cannot read the text...
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