Figure from Cephalopods: A World Guide (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Mark Norman.
Cephalopods don’t seem to have instructional manuals on sex and sexual positions. Perhaps there’s a market for a cephalopod equivalent to “The Joy Of Sex” among the PZs of the human world though.
PZ – Thanks for the image of ‘Splendor In The Sea’. Beautiful. Is it dangerous for the male, like spiders? Saw this thing about Humbolt squid on TV. They were pretty cannibalistic.
PZ, shame on you; children might be reading this blog!
In answer to your question deb, it is sometimes dangerous to the male. When I was observing squid in Bonaire, I saw only one cannibalism event, and it happened just after an unsuccessful mating attempt. The squid eaten however, was one of the juviniles in the squadron, not the male that attempted to mate.
Its also interesting to note that Humbolts aren’t usually that agressive against one another. Most specials you see on TV are filmed while the squid are being fished, and that causes a whole heck of a lot more stress and ink in the water than normal.
As a general rule though, all squid are cannibalistic.
That’s a gorgeous picture–more cephaloerotica than cephaloporn. I assume the lit-up eyes and suckers are just flash reflection, but could it possibly be fluorescence?
‘Cuz fluorescence is totally hot.
Thanks for the info PZ. I know I shouldn’t watch TV science with all that’s available on the web – but sometimes I just veg out. The show I watched was defintely a case of observation while heavy fishing was going on. They played up the concept that the local fishermen see the Humbolts as man-eating devils. That should have been my clue to go to bed.
That was “Killer Squid” which will be on again on the thirteenth. They actually made the point that the Humboldt are not really savage, man-eating evil monsters, and that for the most part the behaviors they were displaying during “fishing” were *because of* the fishing.
OT, but you know what I admire most about IDiots? They’re energetic, likeable people who compensate for their shaky theory’s shortcomings through organization, personal appeal, and money.
What’s not to love?
D. Sidhe – You are right. Maybe my comment implied too much criticism of the show. But, to be fair, I didn’t pick the title ‘Killer Squid’; they used that to reel me in! It was a treat to see the squid in their habitat and the photography was good given the conditions.
What do the squid do all day down in that deep water trench I wonder.
I have to agree:
fluorescence is totally hot.
This squid looks quite a lot like the toy robot cephalopod at the very bottom (and third from the bottom) of this page:
I have one who blends in nicely with my other toy robot cephalopods:
Personally, I think the world needs robot cephalopods. Much more practical than your run-of-the-mill anthropoid ones. And they’d make great servants for any “mad” scientist.
What is is with squid Fridays? Bruce over at Schneier on Security does it as well (latest entry refers to the Cephalopod Conference: http://www.utas.edu.au/docs/aquaculture/CIAC2006/home_page.htm)
I fully recognize that I may be so uncool I don’t get how cool cephalopods are, and that all the cool kids are into squids these days, but I’m wondering _when_ this happened.
Hey, that’s a swinging motto for a t-shirt: “Cool Kids are into Squids” (back of shirt) “Cephalopod Phridays ROCK!”.
Or am I trying too hard?
– Clever “Never was a Cool Hunter” Monkey
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