Tag Archives: squid

Friday Squid Blogging: Brittle Star Catches a Squid

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/08/friday_squid_bl_589.html

Watch a brittle star catch a squid, and then lose it to another brittle star.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Eyeballs

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/08/friday_squid_bl_588.html

Details on how a squid’s eye corrects for underwater distortion:

Spherical lenses, like the squids’, usually can’t focus the incoming light to one point as it passes through the curved surface, which causes an unclear image. The only way to correct this is by bending each ray of light differently as it falls on each location of the lens’s surface. S-crystallin, the main protein in squid lenses, evolved the ability to do this by behaving as patchy colloids­ — small molecules that have spots of molecular glue that they use to stick together in clusters.

Research paper.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Fake News

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/08/friday_squid_bl_587.html

I never imagined that there would be fake news about squid. (That website lets you write your own stories.)

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Friday Squid Blogging: Giant Squids Have Small Brains

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/07/friday_squid_bl_586.html

New research:

In this study, the optic lobe of a giant squid (Architeuthis dux, male, mantle length 89 cm), which was caught by local fishermen off the northeastern coast of Taiwan, was scanned using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging in order to examine its internal structure. It was evident that the volume ratio of the optic lobe to the eye in the giant squid is much smaller than that in the oval squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) and the cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis). Furthermore, the cell density in the cortex of the optic lobe is significantly higher in the giant squid than in oval squids and cuttlefish, with the relative thickness of the cortex being much larger in Architeuthis optic lobe than in cuttlefish. This indicates that the relative size of the medulla of the optic lobe in the giant squid is disproportionally smaller compared with these two cephalopod species.

From the New York Times:

A recent, lucky opportunity to study part of a giant squid brain up close in Taiwan suggests that, compared with cephalopods that live in shallow waters, giant squids have a small optic lobe relative to their eye size.

Furthermore, the region in their optic lobes that integrates visual information with motor tasks is reduced, implying that giant squids don’t rely on visually guided behavior like camouflage and body patterning to communicate with one another, as other cephalopods do.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Eyeball Collector Wants a Giant-Squid Eyeball

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/07/friday_squid_bl_584.html

They’re rare:

The one Dubielzig really wants is an eye from a giant squid, which has the biggest eye of any living animal — it’s the size of a dinner plate.

“But there are no intact specimens of giant squid eyes, only rotten specimens that have been beached,” he says.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Food Supplier Passes Squid Off as Octopus

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/06/food_supplier_p.html

According to a lawsuit (main article behind paywall), “a Miami-based food vendor and its supplier have been misrepresenting their squid as octopus in an effort to boost profits.”

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Friday Squid Blogging: Injured Giant Squid Video

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/06/friday_squid_bl_582.html

A paddleboarder had a run-in with an injured giant squid. Video. Here’s the real story.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Sex Is Traumatic for the Female Dumpling Squid

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/06/friday_squid_bl_580.html

The more they mate, the sooner they die. Academic paper (paywall). News article.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Squid as Prey

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/06/friday_squid_bl_579.html

There’s lots of video of squid as undersea predators. This is one of the few instances of squid as prey (from a deep submersible in the Pacific):

“We saw brittle stars capturing a squid from the water column while it was swimming. I didn’t know that was possible. And then there was a tussle among the brittle stars to see who got to have the squid,” says France.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Squid and Chips

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/05/friday_squid_bl_577.html

The excellent Montreal chef Marc-Olivier Frappier, of Joe Beef fame, has created a squid and chips dish for Brit & Chips restaurant.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Giant Squid Caught Off the Coast of Ireland

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/05/friday_squid_bl_578.html

It’s rare:

Fishermen caught a 19-foot-long giant squid off the coast of Ireland on Monday, only the fifth to be seen there since 1673.

Also the first in 22 years.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Communications

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/05/friday_squid_bl_576.html

In the oval squid Sepioteuthis lessoniana, males use body patterns to communicate with both females and other males:

To gain insight into the visual communication associated with each behavior in terms of the body patterning’s key components, the co-expression frequencies of two or more components at any moment in time were calculated in order to assess uniqueness when distinguishing one behavior from another. This approach identified the minimum set of key components that, when expressed together, represents an unequivocal visual communication signal. While the interpretation of the signal and the associated response of the receiver during visual communication are difficult to determine, the concept of the component assembly is similar to a typical language within which individual words often have multiple meanings, but when they appeared together with other words, the message becomes unequivocal. The present study thus demonstrates that dynamic body pattering, by expressing unique sets of key components acutely, is an efficient way of communicating behavioral information between oval squids.

News article.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Live Squid Washes up on North Carolina Beach

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/04/friday_squid_bl_575.html

A “mysterious squid” — big and red — washed up on a beach in Carteret County, North Carolina. Someone found it, still alive, and set it back in the water after taking some photos of it. Squid scientists later decided it was a diamondback squid.

So, you think that O’Shea might know the identity of the squid Carey Walker found on the Portsmouth Island Beach, just by looking at an emailed photo or two? Indeed, he did. After a couple of days of back-and-forth emails — it can be difficult to connect consistently with a world-famous man who lives now in Australia — he reported that, while unusual to be seen on beaches in our parts, this was not a particularly unusual squid: It was a diamondback squid, known in scientific nomenclature as Thysanoteuthis rhombus.

T. rhombus, also known as the diamond squid or diamondback squid, is a large species that grows to about 100 centimeters in length, which translates to about 39 inches, and ranges in weight from 20 to 30 kilograms, which translates to 44 to 50 pounds. Which means that, if nothing else, Carey Walker is pretty good at estimating the weight and length of big red squids he picks up on remote beaches.

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Friday Squid Blogging: Chilean Squid Producer Diversifies

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/04/friday_squid_bl_572.html

In another symptom of climate change, Chile’s largest squid producer “plans to diversify its offering in the future, selling sea urchin, cod and octopus, to compensate for the volatility of giant squid catches….”

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Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Can Edit Their Own RNA

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/04/friday_squid_bl_573.html

This is just plain weird:

Rosenthal, a neurobiologist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, was a grad student studying a specific protein in squid when he got an an inkling that some cephalopods might be different. Every time he analyzed that protein’s RNA sequence, it came out slightly different. He realized the RNA was occasionally substituting A’ for I’s, and wondered if squid might apply RNA editing to other proteins. Rosenthal, a grad student at the time, joined Tel Aviv University bioinformaticists Noa Liscovitch-Braur and Eli Eisenberg to find out.

In results published today, they report that the family of intelligent mollusks, which includes squid, octopuses and cuttlefish, feature thousands of RNA editing sites in their genes. Where the genetic material of humans, insects, and other multi-celled organisms read like a book, the squid genome reads more like a Mad Lib.

So why do these creatures engage in RNA editing when most others largely abandoned it? The answer seems to lie in some crazy double-stranded cloverleaves that form alongside editing sites in the RNA. That information is like a tag for RNA editing. When the scientists studied octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish, they found that these species had retained those vast swaths of genetic information at the expense of making the small changes that facilitate evolution. “Editing is important enough that they’re forgoing standard evolution,” Rosenthal says.

He hypothesizes that the development of a complex brain was worth that price. The researchers found many of the edited proteins in brain tissue, creating the elaborate dendrites and axons of the neurons and tuning the shape of the electrical signals that neurons pass. Perhaps RNA editing, adopted as a means of creating a more sophisticated brain, allowed these species to use tools, camouflage themselves, and communicate.

Yet more evidence that these bizarre creatures are actually aliens.

Three more articles. Academic paper.

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Friday Squid Blogging: 1887 Animal-Combat Print with Giant Squid

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/03/friday_squid_bl_571.html

Great Victorian animal-combat scene featuring a giant squid.

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