Nature On The Great Invertebrate Wars

Well it seems Nature has taken sides in The Great Marine Invertebrate Wars, which began here at The Intersection last week:

A bizarre geek-fight has erupted in the blogosphere over which types of invertebrates are coolest, Echinoderms or Molluscs.

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And I'm sad to report, the otherwise brilliant journal fails to recognize the awe-inspiring, ever-charismatic, comic-book-superhero marvel that is holothuria. sigh...

Having spent the weekend playing with octopus in the Med, the Great Beyond is committing the full weight of Nature's reputation behind the mollusca cause.

The lines are drawn, loyalties are being set, and the epic battle continues...

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Mollusks are cool, but there is a fasination about a 'sea cucumber'. Interesting little slithers, they get my vote.

As a Woods Hole oceanographer, I'd like to offer our weight behind the majestic echinoderm! Sea cucumbers are incredible animals and we've so much still to learn of their mysterious ways.

Having worked with sea urchins (I even had a button made up, "Take an Echinoderm to lunch this week!"), and disliking stir-fried sea cucumber (texture: like rubbery Jello), I weigh in on the side of the molluscs. Squid embryos are just beatiful--like popcorn.

However, why no mention of Aplysia, the sea hare, used by neuroscientists in their research. These hermaphrodites have interesting circular orgies...

By Stolen Dormouse (not verified) on 26 Mar 2008 #permalink

Hey, I did some oyster research at WHOI a few years back while working for the Southeast Massachusetts Aquaculture Center in Barnstable.

Cast a vote for the Mighty Mollusk.

Miss Sheril,
If we are stiking strictly to invertebrates, I have to vote for molluscs - and specifically bivalve molluscs at that. I suppose had I cut my professional teath on sea cucs as you did I might be a bit more open minded, but after years of diving on scallop and clam beds in Florida, and being attacked once by a Giant Heart Cockle that thought it could swim, I fall squarely in the bivalve camp.. And, as something of an epicurian, I have to agree that the texture of sea cucs is just not great. Now raw oysters on the half shell with a dash of Tabasco . . .

But, if you can tear yourself aware from the inverts for a minute, why not look across the marine phyla and ask what is the overall coolest creature? Both the mola and the leafy sea dragon get my votes!

Wow, it is really ON. And far from over - I have a post on squid scheduled for 2pm EST that will strike another blow in favour of our molluscan overlords.