Wow. Every person on the planet saw one version or another of this “Octopolis” story and had to send it to me. It was the subject of a Friday Cephalopod a year ago, you know. Apparently, this is the second octopus city discovered, which is interesting — they’re exhibiting more complex social behaviors. However, I…
Pale, drifting quietly, long grasping arms, cold and anoxic…we all float down here. Yes, I’m going to go see It this evening. It won’t be half as creepy as the reality of the dark deep, though.
I think it’s a portrait of my mood right now.
First, a little background: When squid mate, a male transfers its sperm to a female enclosed in complex structures called spermatophores. These are accumulated in the spermatophoric sac, a storage organ inside the mantle cavity, before ejaculation through the penis. Squid that spawn in shelf waters and epipelagic waters of the open ocean usually have…
If you’ve ever wondered what squid ink is made of, here’s your answer: Generally, cephalopod ink includes melanin, enzymes related to melanin production, catecholamines, peptidoglycans, free amino acids and metals. But mostly melanin. And mucus.
The sequel is going to go a bit dark: this is a deep ocean sponge. It’s dark and ominous, and it’s also carnivorous, with sticky spines for capturing and killing passing animals. I think that thing has been waiting for me in a lot of my nightmares.
You Californians have no excuse. Go to the coast and stop by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and see the Vampyroteuthis. Oh, wait, that’s the fake inflatable one. I don’t think you’ll get to dive down into the deep dark and see a real one. You might not want to.