It was the year 2000, I think, and I was on a college field trip to the tidepools. The class was Invertebrate Zoology, so we were flipping rocks over and listing off the phyla as fast as we could identify them. Then someone lifted a big slab and gasped: there was a red octopus, chowing down on a shore crab.
I remember this scene so vividly in part because I love octopuses, but also because of a comment the professor made: "This is remarkable, because it's really quite rare to see an act of predation in the wild."
Surprising perhaps, but true. Predation events tend to happen very quickly. Predators are vulnerable while they're eating, so they snarf down their food at lightening speeds and/or hide while they're eating--like the octopus.
I was reminded of this story because of a fantastic photo in the news: not an act of predation per se, but direct evidence of a very recent act. This is the sperm whale equivalent of getting a splash of soup on your chin:
From New Zealand's Marlborough Express.
It's a squid arm! The rest of the squid, I'm sure, is being actively digested within. Apparently a whale-watching tour off Kaikoura (on the South Island) spotted this messy diner and snapped a picture.
It must be tough to be a whale, with no opposable thumbs to wield a napkin.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health
- Microwave Electron Guns: A Field-Emission Plug-And-Play Solution
- Interstellar Is A Dangerous Fantasy Of US Colonialism
- Extraordinary Claims: Review My Paper For $10
- The BPA Paradox – Too Many Studies?
- In A Snowstorm, Do You Want Salt Or Vegetable Juice On Your Road?
- Mystery Virus That Turned Starfish Into Goo Identified
- "Just to say - you don't need to colonize space to have the capability to go into space. And - arguably..."
- "I disagree completely! We should colonize space because we can. Whenever else would we do it? We..."
- "The worst possible reason to do something is just because we can.It is respectable, even admirable..."
- "There's only so much American continent, but there's plenty of outer space for everyone.(Actually..."
- "You might find this paper quite useful? The shift toward numerical naturalness was an important..."