Vampire Squid And The Evolution Of Cephalopod Sex

Everyone loves vampire squid, right? Their monstrous name belies their gentle nature as graceful...

Learning Science From Fiction: A Review Of Ryan Lockwood’s “Below”

In last month’s review of Preparing the Ghost, I mentioned that you can actually learn facts...

Usurped By Legend: A Review Of Matthew Gavin Frank’s ‘Preparing The Ghost’

When you read something in a book, do you believe it? You might say, “Of course not if it’s...

Squid Lady Parts

This Bobtail squid was imaged by the Deep Discover ROV in Atlantis Canyon, is less than one foot...

User picture.
picture for Hank Campbellpicture for Helen Barrattpicture for Michael Whitepicture for Steve Schulerpicture for Alex picture for Holly Moeller
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 »

One of the more unusual cephalopods of my acquaintance (and I do not say this lightly) is the ram's horn squid, Spirula spirula. The species is named for its beautifully coiled internal shell, which is all most people (including me) have ever seen of it.

by Fritz Geller-Grimm
Last March I posted about a little problem with the east cost longfin squid fishery:
The nets that fishermen use to catch longfin squid also ensnare butterfish. And butterfish populations are very low. In fact, in 2004 a stock assessment workshop determined that butterfish were officially overfished (read that phrase aloud--it's fun!). 
Strict limits on butterfish bycatch keep squid fishers from catching as many squid as they'd like. If only they knew exactly where butterfish were on any given day, they could fish for squid in butterfish-free zones and skip the bycatch problem.
If you have not already read the hysterical Texts from Cephalopods, you must do so. Preferably somewhere that it is acceptable to shriek or snort with laughter. However, beforehand, you must prepare yourself by watching (or re-watching) the drunk octopus' YouTube channel.

That was a joke; the drunk octopus doesn't have a YouTube channel (as far as I know). But if he did, it would contain all the videos linked from the titles of the text exchanges. While you're reading, look for the ones that are underlined, like Octopus Takes an Interest in Cinematography.

There was only one video missing from volta_arovet's brilliant dialogue. It is this:
Squid Drop is an iPhone game* based on the premise that squid are negatively buoyant. Any serious iGamers must ask themselves: is it true? Barring the application of any external forces, would a squid sink to the depths of the sea?

Never fear, the cephalopodiatrist is here to answer this pressing concern!

Your typical squid is robust and active, packed with dense, heavy muscles. Not to mention the hard parts that are also heavier than water: the chitinous pen and braincase, and the calcified beak. This would all seem to be positive evidence for sinking squid.
The first Circus of the Spineless of 2012 is up at Wild About Ants! Check it out for some very doable new year resolution suggestions. (Like "get to know tiny spiders"--we can all do with a little more arachnomania, can't we?) There's also a nice post linked about the color-changing octopus and squid that I neglected to cover here.

I'll blog about sinking squid tomorrow, I promise! Sorry for the slow updates over the holiday season. My attention was diverted by some medical adventures as well as family time, but all is well now and I'll be coming back up to speed.
Casual games with squid in them are the new hotness. No, I'm totally serious. There was Halloween Squid, Squibble, Squids, and now, Squid Drop:

What a delightful excuse to talk about squid science! Now, where can I possibly find science in this app?

A-ha! Crabs*!