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Danna StaafRSS Feed of this column.

Cephalopods have been rocking my world since I was in grade school. I pursued them through a BA in marine biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, followed by a PhD dissertation at... Read More »

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A couple of weeks ago ago, a debate about the existence of scavenging cephalopods broke out on the cephalopod mailing list. A few days later, such a creature appeared in the news as if conjured!

A grad student had e-mailed the ceph-list because he’d found a website that claimed “most cephalopods are active hunters while some are scavengers.” He couldn’t think of any scavenging cephalopods, and wanted to know if anyone else could.

Little glowing fish called lanternfish and the similarly sized, shrimplike krill are creatures worthy of pity. They're on the menu of almost every large marine animal you can name: from tuna to penguins to whales, and, of course, squid. Most notably Humboldt squid, who stuff their beaks with truly epic quantities of these small fry.
Here is the bleak story of a seasick squid, a granted wish, and a horrible way to live life:



by Alex Culang and Raynato Castro at Buttersafe, h/t to Squid.us
Last night I had a sappy mama dream about holding and nursing my baby. Half-waking from it, I found myself wondering if the baby--scheduled to remain comfortably ensconced in my womb for another four months--might have had the same dream.
Southern dumpling squid are tuckered out by sex. So say Australian researchers Franklin et al. in the journal Biology Letters. Sure, it's salacious science, but so what?

Dumpling squid: they are frisky. Photo by Mark Norman, published in Biology Letters.
"That's something you don't see every day, Chauncey."
"What's that, Edgar?"
"A man eating a whole live squid mere weeks after news reports that eating whole squid can lead to mouth insemination."



"But in this case, Edgar, that's not a concern. You see, those are juvenile market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens). Much too young to have functional spermatophores."
"All right, Chauncey, but there's another major risk to consider."
"What's that, Edgar?"