Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.
I didnt know what they were at the time Nick, I thought the coley had stumbled upon a brood of baby octopus and gorged itself.
I've only seen the shells before- like tiny spiral ammonite shells - but these can't be anything else. Maybe the coalie found where they were hatching, and had a feast, or maybe they swim in shoals like reef squid (which I have been lucky enough to see... with psychedelic rippling colours).
I googled "Sepiola atlantica cuttlebone -definition -zazzle" & got (sadly in google books) a section of Oceanography & Marine Biol. review vol 37, Sepiolids = decapods "closely related to cuttlefish", that they possess no cuttlebone, & lists 8 sp's including Rossias,Sepiettas & Sepiolas. So the shels you mentioned Nick are (I guess) the Spirula spirula's, occasionally found on western coasts.
says they have a reduced horny pen (chitinous gladius) + description & images
Sorry, yes, my flu raddled brain was thinking of Spirula shells from another little cephalopod, and this is of course Sepiola with just a horny pen.
I'm still not sure these are sepiola atlantica. see eg http://www.pinterest.com/pin/89016530106855236/ ,but a remarkable find.
To my eye there is a very strong similarity between the above creatures and the linked photo, the red dotted surface and the structure. The main difference I can see is the translucency of the linked animal and the opacity of mine but that would be explained by them having been in in the stomach acid of the coley. Small critters seem to have an almost 'cooked' appearance after having been in the stomach of a fish, eg crustaceans go bright orange.
Edit, Im having another look, do you think they might resemble octopus more?
I also googled baby octopus & they looked similar shape to adult, & baby squid which I thought closer to yours, but I suppose another type of cuttlefish was possible, there aren't enough baby pictures to tell. Take your point about white being likely due to them being in a stomach; the red spots are a warning sign, as in http://www.ispotnature.org/node/199973
The difference I can see between mine and the linked one is 1. Your linked one has no red dots on the legs like mine and 2. I cant find the paired flaps on the head of mine like in the linked photo.
So has anyone considered the possibility of octopus?
Those look very similar Derek, yes my original thoughts when they came out of the fish were of baby octopus. Maybe the more obvious ID was right all along but someone somewhere informed me they were Little Cuttlefish and I have believed so ever since.
But Derek's are Indonesian; see http://www.pinterest.com/mariahbeckroege/baby-octopus/ & baby octopus vulgaris eggs http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/16895123 ;I'm sure any baby cuttlefish or squid fins,being flimsy would be digested first. IMO it's another cuttlefish, not 1 of the 3 Sepia sp's but 1 of the other bobtails.
It's evident from the above that those Indonesians DON'T look like Europeans (they don't look Californians either, http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/category/article/story-shot?page=1 )
Yes Chris, I'm afraid I also missed your "I also Googled...". Bear in mind though that Indonesian Tinyfry hatchlings are likely to look the same as Euro ones. Your link to the Pinterest Item comes from this 4 pic sequence http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteredin/5590397080/in/photostream/ remarkable
I'm not sure what I have photographed above but I stumbled across more images of a similar organism, which has been IDed as Sepiola atlantica. I hope this hasnt already been linked above and I have missed it.
I can see the flap on the head of this one in the link in both photographs. I think there is a front and rear picture here of the same small cephalopod:-
The ID seems ok based on the clear presence of the paired flaps on the head.
This is new,& a fine example of Sep a.,& upside down as in the one in 'other observations'; but look how short the body (ie the bit behind the eyes) is compared to yours. It's that length that makes me doubt the ID, but I can't find any to replace it (no babies of the other bobtails, etc)
Help me out here, the presence of the head flaps is (is there a name for them?) is right on Sepiola atlantica?
I can't find even a remnant of a flap on a single one of my 'Little Cuttlefish' above, I would expect even a remnant of one to be visible on so many specimens. I know they are delicate Chris but for them all to be digested off without a remnant to be seen I think is unlikely.
They're not headflaps as they're on the body
Of course, fins then ? Thanks Chris.
Your timings above are interesting do you sleep perhaps?
An interesting debate.
type Sepiola atlantica babies into Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/ - there's not a lot
Here's one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zAcenHFwvY
Your Youtube sepiola's an adult, not a baby, please check things out properly!
Lat/Lng: 55.015, -5.949
OS grid ref: NW476760