The squid has been stitched as much as we can – Steve describes it as trying to sew two blocks of butter together. As we re-fill the tank with the glycol mixture we are placing bags filled with water to spread the mantle out and give it some support.
Being able to view the specimen head on gives us an idea of what meeting one of these guys would be like!
And at the centre of those tentacles is the beak . . . .
The pale vertical stripe at the outer edge of the eye is a light organ – all the better to see you with!
The light organ is at the rear edge of the eye. It would be concealed by skin as the eyeball revolved when the squid was looking out sideways (thus hiding the light from predators or prey). As the eyes turn inward to focus directly in front of the arms and tentacles, the light organs would be exposed and provide enough light for the squid to see its prey in the darkness. Then using binocular vision it would be able to accurately judge the distance the tentacles need to move to strike and seize any hapless toothfish in range!
In the image above the eye looks forward (to the left of the image). At the rear of the 27 cm diameter eyeball is a massive nerve leading to the rear of the cranium – concealed by the leading edge of the mantle.