Pierre Arronax July 13, 2007 5:39 PM

Fascinating critters, those Mastigoteuthis – the photo at the bottom of this Tree of Life webpage is just wonderful…..

“Two species (M. hjorti, M. magna) have been observed from submersibles drifting just above the ocean floor and dangling tentacles within a few mm of the bottom, presumably, to capture copepods and other small plankters of the epibenthic zooplankton (Roper and Vecchione, 1997). The photograph below shows the same behavior in a species off Hawaii. …. This posture where the extended tentacles emerge from the lateral membranes (tentacular sheaths) of the ventral arms and are held apart by these arms is called the “tuning fork” posture (Roper and Vecchione, 1997).”

An AVI format video clip of this behavior is available at Cephalopods in Action.

longnow July 18, 2007 12:52 PM

SF novel Manifold Time uses a bio-enhanced trained squid to pilot a spaceship. The
squid is chosen for it’s exceptional hunting abilities and intelligence.

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.