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Link roundup – squid edition

January 03, 2010 ・ Blog

  • An affectionate octopus - This sight will warm the cockles of any heart - even the three hearts of a cephalopod - though the huge welts from its gentle octopus sucker-love look a bit of a mood-dampener on the part of the human.
  • Squid at play - So squid indulge in mating dances which appear to be similar to lekking, a behaviour some birds employ in which males gather together and display in order for females to pick out the best. The term 'lek' comes from the Swedish terms for rule-less play ('att leka' means 'to play'). This can only mean that squid either have a sense of style or fun. Biologist PZ Myers says that males gather to swim in large circles above the mating ground at dawn. The females arrive and they all dance together before pairing off and mating over and over again until after sunset.
  • Squidblog - Profoundly sadly, this blog has been mothballed since 2006, but it's a delightful repository of old cephalopod news, including a 15-17m bull sperm whale with scars indicating tussles with 200-300kg squid all over its snout, research that squid inherit personalities from their parents, documentation of squid orgies and a cat wearing a squid hat.
  • Humboldt squid: Soft, gentle kittens of the briny deep? - Clive Thompson on how a biologist is refuting general horror at the six-foot Diablo Rojo, with its 'fleshreaping beak', saying that they kinda like attacking his equipment, but they're frightened by his light.