castalia: (Kraken)
There is the most annoying guy on my cephalopod interest mailing list right now. While not a purely professional list, the majority of people who post to it are researchers, professors, aquarium professionals, etc. Others are hobbyists who just like to hear about the latest news.

This new charmer is an "artist" who posted wanting to know if his artwork depicting a female octopus who has "forced herself" on a human male is accurate regarding the color of the octopus. Because he cares a lot about making sure he's depicting octopus arousal correctly.

I'm kind of surprised he's had some polite responses, mostly from researchers who are warning him that applying human ideas of what animals are "thinking and feeling" are out of the realm of science. There's also been some interesting anecdotes from octopus keepers relating observations of octopus matings and other behaviors.

But his repeated postings on the nature of the artwork (and the way he phrases it as a sort of strange rape fantasy) and his refusal to respond to anyone directly offlist or even google things to make it easier is driving me batty. He doesn't seem like he knows much of anything about cephs or animal behavior in general, tbh. I have a delete button, sure, but I hope this thread dies soon. Kind of surprised it hasn't been shut down already. Most of us don't subscribe to the list to hear about someone's kinks. If I want that, I'll go visit DeviantArt.

/first world problems
castalia: (Shiny squid)
Dr James Wood, ceph researcher at the Aquarium of the Pacific, just posted this video to YouTube. Great shots of two-spot octopus behavior, including hunting, movement out of water, and squeezing through a small space.

castalia: (Shiny squid)
Life is mostly boring lately, so here's something pretty to look at.

Winners of the 2008 Photomicrography Contest at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole.

First prize went to an awesome photo of Loligo pealei larvae, entitled "An efflorescence of squid". The rest of the prizes and honorable mentions are pretty cool, too.
castalia: (Cuttlefish - Invisible)
Haven't done a cephalopod post in a while, so here are some of the latest headlines in the field:

Giant cuttlefish off Whyalla - It's mating time for Sepia apama, the Australian Giant Cuttlefish, something I'd kill to go diving and watch. These guys are much like my S. officinalis, just larger and with different chromatophore patterns (these are much more colourful, as you'll see in the fantastic picture). A second article here.

Meet Ollie, a Giant Pacific Octopus who loves to play with Legos.

Pharyngula article on cephalopod camouflage - Good summary of some of Roger Hanlon's (co-author of the most excellent Cephalopod Behaviour and most of the definitive articles on cuttlefish chromatophores) work on camouflage in cephalopods. Links to the very cool "invisible octopus" video many of you may have seen already.

K. Wolfram's cuttlefish website - I used this as a guide for a lot of my cuttle dissections. Great flash site, with tons of photos and really great info if you want to know some more about these terrific little animals.

*sigh* I miss my cuttles.
castalia: (Lollisquid by keleos)
After a long dearth of sightings, a new colossal squid has been caught, even bigger than the last one!

CephNews has a summary here with pictures and links to the various online articles about the catch.

I would kill to be down in New Zealand with Dr O'Shea at this moment in time. That guy gets all the amazing specimens and research opportunities. Maybe one day I can afford to do a PhD down there.

I'm excited to see other people on my flist squeeing about this as well. Spread the cephalopod love!
castalia: (OMG Squid!)
I've been remiss in my cephalopod updates lately, despite doing tons of reading about them. So, here's a recent article about the first photos of parental care in the squid Gonatus onyx. Some really great pics, very clear and sharp.

First images of baby squid care

OMG Squid.

Dec. 21st, 2005 10:05 pm
castalia: (OMG Squid!)
[livejournal.com profile] gritkitty just gave me the greatest link ever.

Squid Hat

*plots to make one*
castalia: (Kraken)
Well, finally got my checks deposited. It wasn't as much as I wanted it to be, but I was afraid to wait any longer. The dollar just isn't doing well, and I'd rather not take a chance on it going down even more. I'll just have to be really careful with money. I'm doing ok so far, so it should be fine. Have to wait possibly a few weeks for the checks to process, though, before I can write the school a check for my tuition fees. I swear, I'm so damned tired of worrying about money.

I'm also annoyed, b/c I was looking at one scholarship I'd wanted to apply for, but I noticed something in the fine print - only US schools. Argh. There goes that, unless I want to do my PhD in the States and apply for it next year. *sigh*

I do have some good news, though. Dropped by to talk to Chris Richardson yesterday about my project, and I came at just the right time, b/c two of his other students were there - one guy doing a PhD and another who just got his PhD, and both work with cuttlefish. I got to sit down with all three of them and talk about my ideas for a project, and they seemed to think this could really work and be interesting. Might even tie in with what the other guy is doing for his PhD project. I have to write up a proposal and turn it in for approval, but as long as that goes well I think I've got Richardson as my supervisor for sure. He seemed impressed that I'd read up on the subject and knew what I wanted to do :) He said the PhD student and I might have to take a trip down to Portsmouth and finagle some eggs and possibly some juvenile cuttlefish from this guy who usually supplies them, then we'd grow them to breeding status in time for the actual project to start in the summer. Then I can set up some mating experiments and look at intra- and intersexual selection during mating, basic mating behaviour, etc. Might even do a little side experiment on various ways of transporting the eggs; we kind of brainstormed for a bit, so there are plenty of things I can look at. I'm really excited about this now!

My body always seems to sense when I finally get some downtime, or else it's just the annual pre-Christmas sinus revolt, b/c my sinuses are acting up again. I'm all tired and feverish, and I've got icky drainage yet again. Don't really have time to be sick, but if I have to be, I'm glad it's during my reading week so I won't have to deal with deadlines on top of feeling bad. At least I can sleep in if I want, which I've done almost every day this week.
castalia: (OMG Squid!)
*finally is registered and so has own internet access here at the library and can squee about this*

OMG FIRST EVER PHOTOS OF LIVE GIANT SQUID!!!!

Read that twice and note the important word: LIVE.

Finally! God, that is so cool. Such crafty scientists, those Japanese. I'm sure Steve O'Shea is just writhing with jealousy.
castalia: (Shiny squid)
Gibraltar
biologists tentatively identify a recent squid find as a member of the family Histioteuthidae
- not a very good picture of the animal, but still interesting. The deepsea currents bringing so many animals normally only found in deep water to the Gibraltar coast have the possibility for more new species discoveries.

In the world of octopi, the recent discovery of several species that can "walk" across the ocean floor have prompted new experiments in robotics involving soft, flexible parts instead of the traditional hard metals and plastics.

Moving on to cuttlefish, this article regarding the state of cuttlefish harvesting off the coast of Britain is rather depressing. The pictures make me sad and horribly angry. When are we going to learn not to overfish species until we wipe them out?

And, though not related to cephalopods, the new discovery of a deepsea jellyfish that uses red light to attract its prey changes what we had previously thought about the types of light produced in the deep oceans. More pictures here.

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