Update of schedule

Here’s an update of the schedule for today. We know the squid is taking longer to thaw than we thought so even this schedule may change.

11am Media

12.30 – we off for some lunch
2pm onwards – Filming by Discovery Channel
4pm Endoscope, move formalin drums into the room
5-6pm? Defrost continues
After that – fixing in formalin – everyone clears out as the scientists will be masked up with respirators because of the toxic fumes. We hope SquidCam will stay though.
Mark’s birthday drinks – if he’s still in the tank we’ll have one for him anyway 🙂 who knows!

We can’t predict how long it is going to take to defrost internally so it is impossible to give exact times. The squid needs to be in the correct shape before we can start fixing its shape in formalin. They’ll start injecting it into the thickest tissues first – like the tail fin, the arms and the mantle cavity, where the internal organs are.

10 Responses

  1. gabriel

    Haseeb wants to clone giant single cell organisms that live in the stomachs of fish, I think?

  2. john d

    I vaguely remember the Catching and the Freezing, but won’t soon forget the dissected-live cecum oozing its nematodes. Only a few thousand have joined me to distance-learn without hassle of pre-registration or payment?
    Technically, the ‘cast went better for me than the typical YouTube on my older PC. No complaints.

  3. Haseeb

    Would it be possible for the museum to fix the stomach and caecum in molecular grade ethanol so that people like me, who have an interest in molecular systematics and evolutionary ecology of parasites, can have access to DNA from some of the parasites recovered from these organs?

  4. chrispaulin

    Formalin preserves the squid by “tanning” or “fixing” the tissue. Once it has been fixed, the specimen will be stored in a preservative- usually specimens are stored in alcohol, but in ths speciemn the cost for 10,000 litres would be prohibitive, so we will be using propylene glycol. It should remain in good condition for many years – some specimens we have in the museum are over 100 years old.

  5. Jackie

    Hi there! I love following your blog. I’ve got a question about the Formalin. What exactly does it do? How long will you be able to preserve the squid for? Cheers and good luck and thanks for allowing us ‘normal people’ to have a look at what you do!

  6. Gail and Adelaide

    Have been watching this fantastic
    “squid event” with my 8yr old daughter for 2 days now. We’re in California so abit behind, but she can’t wait to get home from school and see what new wonderful parts of the squid she can see! We look forward to the Discovery broadcast. Thanks to all that made this possible!

  7. karen

    Kia Ora!

    Born and raised hearing my Grandfather’s stories of giant (colossal) squid in Newfoundland, I must say watching your feed the past few days has been a treat indeed!

    I had the pleasure of visiting Te Papa last year and am ever impressed by your accomplishments in bringing science to life. The addition of the web cams (with commentary) to this remarkable occasion is once again testament to this. Thanks so much for allowing me to participate, however distantly. Karen, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (15 300+ km)

  8. Vanessa

    Hello all, we in the office have been watching your Squid-Cam with great enthusiasm, we had a few ideas for names for the squid
    – HAMISH
    We are from an art school, what can I say- We’re creative! Happy Birthday Mark!

  9. Haseeb Randhawa

    To whom this may concern;

    My name is Haseeb Randhawa and I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Zoology at the University of Otago in Dunedin. I work on different aspects of parasites of elasmobranchs, including: molecular systematics, host/parasite coevolution, and the elucidation of the lifecycle of tetraphyllidean cestodes. For the latter, I am working on creating a DNA library of adult cestodes infecting elasmobranchs. I have collected material from NZ, the northwest and southwest Atlantic Ocean, and the North Sea.

    One of the main prey items of sharks is squid. Hence, I have also been collecting squid from different localities, sequencing a nuclear marker from the cestode larvae recovered from the squid and trying to work out the transmission dynamics of these larvae through trophic interactions. After watching a report on One News earlier this week, I wondered whether you could/would preserve the stomach and caecum of the colossal squid in 100% ethanol (or at least any larvae that can be recovered)? My only concern is whether this material has already been exposed to formalin.

    I thank you for looking into this request.

    Haseeb Randhawa, PhD
    Post-Doctoral Fellow
    Department of Zoology
    University of Otago
    340 Great King St., P.O. Box 56
    Dunedin, 9054
    New Zealand

  10. Matt B

    A massive thank you for all the frequent updating of this blog. It’s so fantastic watching the webcast but impossible to keep track of activities due to the nature of the feed.
    However is feels great to be part of it despite being 11hrs behind and 11,000 miles away!
    Good luck with the defrosting; lucky that consuming wasn’t part of Mark’s birthday plans!

    Whitstable, UK.


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