Posts by this author
September 22, 2017
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…
September 15, 2017
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.
September 8, 2017
September 1, 2017
I think it's a portrait of my mood right now.
August 25, 2017
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…
August 18, 2017
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.
August 14, 2017
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.
August 4, 2017
Time to forage.
July 28, 2017
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.
July 14, 2017
July 7, 2017
Living a languorous life and occasionally nibbling on a jellyfish has its virtues.
July 3, 2017
June 30, 2017
June 23, 2017
We're making the planet a better place for cephalopods. It also helps that humans are busily destroying teleost populations. David Wiltshire P.S. There's a video at the link titled "8 reasons octopuses rule the oceans". Don't bother with it. It is 8 incredibly idiotic reasons that have nothing…
June 9, 2017
Trapped in a cunning prison! Oh, no, what are you doing now? Foiled again!
June 2, 2017
Roy Caldwell, via Tony Morelli
May 29, 2017
May 20, 2017
When I was addressing this lunacy about how God exists because minds and mathematics are supernatural, I was also thinking about a related set of questions: biologically, how are numbers represented in the brain? How did this ability evolve? I knew there was some interesting work by Ramachandran on…
May 19, 2017
I usually only have good things to say about cephalopods, but it's hard to avoid the truth here: vampire squid aren't exactly beauty queens. MBARI
May 8, 2017
This is an echinoderm, a feather star, out for a swim. (via Owl Mirror)
May 5, 2017
I was reading this account of an encounter between three cuttlefish -- a consort male escorting a female, who is challenged by an intruder -- and the story was weirdly familiar. The intruder’s pupil dilation and arm extension began the first of three brief bouts over the course of about four…
May 1, 2017
April 28, 2017
Coral Reef Photos
April 24, 2017
I'm relieved my courtin' days are over, because even if I did paint my butt iridescent colors, I don't think I could twerk it up over my head.
April 21, 2017
And we liked it! The Nautilus Files
April 14, 2017
It's been a while since I brought everyone up to date on the progress of my Ecological Development course, because I've been busy. So have the students. After our spring break I subjected them to the dreaded oral exam, which actually isn't so bad. I tried to engage them less in an adversarial role…
April 12, 2017
That isn't the Carrizo Plain National Monument. It's obviously Oz.
April 10, 2017
April 7, 2017
Did you know cephalopods may have traded evolution gains for extra smarts? I didn't either. I don't believe it, anyway. The paper is fine, though, it's just the weird spin the media has been putting on it. The actual title of the paper is Trade-off between Transcriptome Plasticity and Genome…