Hurricanes Leads to the Incursion of Deep-Sea Squid Up the Mississippi.

 
jumbosquid.jpg

Several news agencies are reporting today about an interesting phenomenon occurring in the Mississippi River.

The Memphis Flyer reports

In the last two years hurricanes have ravaged the Gulf coast causing millions of dollars of damage to property and the loss of numerous lives. More powerful hurricanes also destroyed millions of acres of marshes. “The significant loss of marshes on the southern Louisiana coast has allowed for Gulf of Mexico water to migrate up the Mississippi River,” stated Dr. April Montgomery of the National Hurricane Center. This increases the saltiness of the river, what scientists refer to as salinity, letting several ocean organisms to move up the river. “Currently we have reports of marine species reaching as far up as Helena, Arkansas,” noted Dr. Seth O’Dod. A deep-sea squid, however, has lead the invasion with record numbers. “Loligo fakei, a species typically found typically in the deep Gulf of Mexico, is moving up the Mississippi in dense schools but dying when they reach the warmer waters south of Memphis,” stated O’Dod. Apparently, huge masses of dead squid are being found on the shores of the river.

I love this quote from Earl Jones in the Helena Independent Record.

“My family has been farming the shores of the river for 10 generations and I ain’t never seen anything like this. The stank is awful but we been collecting them and spreading them across the field as fertilizer. We should have a better crop of soybeans this year.”

 Lower Mississippi River map showing areas of unconfirmed sightings of L. fakei 



Dr. M (1618 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.





8 comments on “Hurricanes Leads to the Incursion of Deep-Sea Squid Up the Mississippi.
  1. I doubt any will make it as far as St. Louis, but this seems to be an inaccuracy in the news report: “dying when they reach the warmer waters south of Memphis.” I don’t think the cause of death is from the water temperature getting warmer as they move further north up the Mississippi. Isn’t it more likely they are dying from the drop in salinity or lower water temperature?

  2. Posting news like this on April 1st definitely requires the extra saltiness – or at least a pinch of it.

    Ian

  3. Hate to say it, but you got me hook & sinker! Mississippi squid, got a ring to it, title of my next song maybe.

    DDeden

  4. The stank is awful but we been collecting them and spreading them across the field as fertilizer. We should have a better crop of soybeans this year.

    Lol!

    Ddeden:

    Old black water, keep on rollin
    Mississippi squid, wont you keep on shinin on me
    Old black water, keep on rollin
    Mississippi squid, wont you keep on shinin on me

  5. Nice. You had me. I was just about to send the post to my brother who works for the Northeast fisheries observers – we’ve been sending squid stories back and forth all year. Luckily I reread the post and noticed the scientific name and the post category. Nicely done.

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