Friday Squid Blogging: Giant Squid Sex Life

News from a cephalopod conference:

The bizarre sex life of the giant squid is one of the topics at an international cephalopod conference in Hobart this week.

Marine biologists are continuing to unlock the secrets of the giant squid, saying the deep-sea monster may not be a cannibal as previously thought.

It was thought the species was cannibalistic when parts of a fellow giant squid were found in the stomach of a specimen caught off Tasmania's west coast in 1999.

But New Zealand based marine biologist Steve O'Shea believes that was the result of some bizarre mating methods.

He says the creatures do not mean to eat each other but the females accidentally bite bits off of the males during mating.

Posted on February 17, 2006 at 4:04 PM • 26 Comments

Comments

RoyFebruary 17, 2006 4:34 PM

@Michael

Doesn't it depend on what organs will regenerate?

Being a giant squid might be very interesting.

Nell WaltonFebruary 18, 2006 7:06 AM

If you did a fusion piece between this squid thing and the Valentine's story that would qualify what I consider to be real news.

Bruce SchneierFebruary 18, 2006 11:05 AM

"um.... crypto please? pretty please?"

I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you asking for me not to do Friday Squid Blogging at all? Do you believe that I have a finite number of posts that I can do, and that every squid post means one less security post?

I consider Friday Squid Blogging to be a bonus here at "Schneier on Security," and its presence has no effect on the number of crypto posts. (The RSA Conference, on the other hand, had a significant effect on the number of security posts in this blog -- I was too busy to write.)

Davi OttenheimerFebruary 18, 2006 1:02 PM

"I consider Friday Squid Blogging to be a bonus here at 'Schneier on Security,' and its presence has no effect on the number of crypto posts."

Are you sure? When I look at the number of crypto posts within a set period I see a decline. That is to say a weekly squid topic reduces the crypto posts by 15%, unless you double post, which would be a true bonus.

jammitFebruary 18, 2006 2:23 PM

Awww, c'mon. It's the end of the week and nobody is handing out free beer. Bring on the squid blog!

Bruce SchneierFebruary 18, 2006 2:49 PM

"Are you sure? When I look at the number of crypto posts within a set period I see a decline. That is to say a weekly squid topic reduces the crypto posts by 15%, unless you double post, which would be a true bonus."

Don't you have anything better to do today?

DFebruary 18, 2006 8:51 PM

@Bruce Schneier

I think "ummmmm..."'s original post was more along the "Oh, God, my eyes are burning!" line of concern. Don't stop posting these. Definitely interesting. Painful, but interesting.

Nobby NutsFebruary 19, 2006 3:25 AM

Yeah, I like them too. There's nothing wrong, and a lot right, with interspersing a few OT or personal bits into a blog (or a usenet group, for that matter). It puts a bit of context to what otherwise might be faceless posts and posters.

AnonymousFebruary 20, 2006 12:02 AM

re: Ummmmmm....

Dude... you don't see the steganographically encrypted message in his squid picture in the news article? Are you the only person who hasn't figured out that this is a *secret post* for those who can decipher it? There's a URL for a secret blog feedback section in the message. I know people are going to hate me for revealing the secret, but I'll feel like a complete dick if I just let everyone else snicker at you behind your back for not understanding. Sorry, everyone, for letting the cat out of the bag.

RobertFebruary 20, 2006 8:13 AM

Zorba: However, what is more interesting, err ... is the mollusk’s err ... sex life.

Mrs. Jalin: (stopping dead) Oh!

Zorba: Yes, the mollusk is a randy little fellow whose primitive brain scarcely strays from the subject of the you know what.

Mrs. Jalin: (going back to sofa) Disgusting!

Mr. Jalin: Ought not to be allowed.

Zorba: The randiest of the gastropods is the limpet. This hot-blooded little beast with its tent-like shell is always on the job. Its extra-marital activities are something startling. Frankly I don't know how the female limpet finds the time to adhere to the rock-face. How am I doing?

Mrs. Jalin: Disgusting.

Mr. Jalin: But more interesting.

Mrs. Jalin: Oh yes, tch, tch, tch.

Ted DemopoulosFebruary 20, 2006 8:15 AM

Blogs are personal communication devices. Bruce is free to add his squid posts of course as it's his blog, and we are free to ignore them.

"Schneier on Security," in a blog context, means both "Schneier" and "Security."

I, for one, am a squid -- and squid blogging -- fan. Keep on squidding!

ProbitasFebruary 20, 2006 10:28 AM

This will not be a great surprise to anyone who has read my posts, but I am not a cryptographer. I am a guy with many job duties which cause me to spend time thinking about security issues. I find this blog to be an immensely helpful tool on my day to day work. It has shown me how to look at problems from different prespectives, and thus cut to the heart of the various issues that arise in the course of my work week. One tool in that aresnal is Friday Squid Blogging, which is certainly a different perspective. If we don't learn something from our cephalopod friends in the first read of the entry, don't be so arrogant to assume that it will not prove helpful down the road. Thank you, Bruce, for maintaining this blog which indeed has "something for everyone".

CheburashkaFebruary 23, 2006 10:42 AM

"I consider Friday Squid Blogging to be a bonus here at "Schneier on Security," and its presence has no effect on the number of crypto posts. (The RSA Conference, on the other hand, had a significant effect on the number of security posts in this blog -- I was too busy to write.)"

I like the squid blogging. But I do think there should be more crypto posts.

GeeFebruary 23, 2006 1:43 PM

To me the interesting thing about this article is the language.

"It _was_ thought the species _was_ cannibalistic when parts of a fellow giant squid were found in the stomach of a specimen caught off Tasmania's west coast in 1999."

and

"...the creatures _do not mean to eat each other_ but the females _accidentally_ bite bits off of the males during mating."

So because they eat each other *accidentally* they aren't cannibals? I'm not so sure I buy that. If someone were to gobble down a hunk of my uncle Leroy during some sort of hunting trip, but explained that it doesn't make them a cannibal because the whole thing was an accident I don't think I'd be inclined to believe them. Accidentally eating people strikes me as being a really odd qualifier for the cannibal/not cannibal label. If a person (or a squid) accidentally had sex in the midst of cannibalizing someone would they still be a virgin?

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