Category archives for Organisms

Watching carefully, I noticed that two other activities added to the commotion: sloughing of skin and defecation. Like other whales, sperm whales shed skin on a regular basis. This may be a mechanism to reduce the risk of infection and to rid the animals of external parasites. As the whales rubbed against one another, the…

Friday Cephalopod: Babies are so cute

But wouldn’t you know it, it’s an endangered species. If it weren’t for that, I’d happily wear Telipogon diabolicus on my lapel everywhere.

Our HHMI students are going to the Morris Theater tonight to watch Finding Dory (fish are biological, so it fits). You’re all welcome to join us at 7!


Conodonts are strange and extinct animals that left behind lots of fossils: their teeth. Practically nothing else but teeny-tiny, jagged, pointy teeth. I remember when the animals themselves were total mysteries, and no one even knew what phylum they belonged to — it was only in the 1980s that a few eel-like soft tissue fossils…

This is kind of awesome: cephalopods only have one kind of photoreceptor, so it was thought that they would be only able to see the world in shades of gray. Those amazingly clever camouflage tricks they pull? That was just matching intensities and textures, fooling our eyes. But now someone has figured out a way…

The theme of this year’s con is “…and how do we GET there”, which means we really should have a session on octopus locomotion.