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Cephalopods Galore
December 2, 2007 11:18 PM   Subscribe

Like squid? What about the good ol' octopus? The cuttlefish and nautilus? If you answered yes to these questions Dr. James B. Wood's Cephalopod Page is your go-to site, with information on and pictures of 25+ species of cephalopods including the aptly named (I'm sure) vampire squid from hell. The site also hosts many articles. Not sure where you stand on the coolness of cephalopods? Why don't you start by watching this video of an octopus squeezing through a one inch hole (previously on MetaFilter).
posted by Kattullus (25 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I also really like the fact that the page has been online (in one form or another) since 1995.
posted by Kattullus at 11:21 PM on December 2, 2007


Relevant Dinosaur Comics.
posted by lumensimus at 11:32 PM on December 2, 2007


Of the many cool aspects of Cephalopods, I have to go with the rapid color changing skin as my personal favorite. I sat and watched a cuttlefish at the aquarium until my friends dragged me out. The ease and speed which it changed color was incredibly fascinating.

Has anyone found any good papers on how that mechanism works? I know it involves chromatophores, but that's about it.
posted by lucidprose at 11:44 PM on December 2, 2007


The cephalod section of Wikipedia's chromatophore page has pretty good information and references 2 papers.
posted by Kattullus at 11:52 PM on December 2, 2007


I really hoped you'd meant, you know, like, in my belly. Yes please!
posted by kaspen at 11:59 PM on December 2, 2007


cephs are cool with me. so long as they stay in the ocean.
the minute some french octopus invents a system of compressed, bottled water that permits them to come aground for extended periods of "observation" and "sample taking", though, things are gonna get real uncool. Perhaps culminating in a boot to the hectocotylus.
posted by kickback at 12:48 AM on December 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Beautiful! I am a big fan of the cephalopods. I only got to aquariums by myself, so I don't get dragged away.

I linked this cephalopod locomotion page before, but I think anyone who checks out this post might love it as well.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:00 AM on December 3, 2007


I always found squid a bit too rubbery in stateside sushi bars, but when I came to Japan I found that here it's generally more tender and tasty.

That's all.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:49 AM on December 3, 2007




Octopi and squids are really smart, too. I remember reading anecdotes about them crawling out of aquariums, across rooms, and into other aquaria in order to eat other fishies, then crawling back, leaving a wet evidence-trail of their nighttime meanderings.
posted by exlotuseater at 3:14 AM on December 3, 2007


Cuttlefish are really tasty, too. I remember dishes with them simmering with tomatoes, sweet basil, and their own ink-sacs, in order to be eaten by me, slurping up ink-blackened pasta, leaving a wet evidence-trail of my nighttime munchings.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:27 AM on December 3, 2007


fap fap fap fap fap fap fap
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 4:35 AM on December 3, 2007


Of the many cool aspects of Cephalopods, I have to go with the rapid color changing skin as my personal favorite. I sat and watched a cuttlefish at the aquarium until my friends dragged me out. The ease and speed which it changed color was incredibly fascinating.

Cephalopods are smart.
posted by mattoxic at 4:43 AM on December 3, 2007


I'm so torn when I eat mollusks like the ones mentioned above. They're both my favorite animals to observe, and high on the list in taste.

Cephbase has a good amount of videos, images, and other reserarchial stuff to rummage around in. (It seems to be slow this morning, though.)

/me disappears, turning a lovely shade of MeFi blue
posted by not_on_display at 4:47 AM on December 3, 2007


The Octopus People of Algol VII will not be happy with you.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:29 AM on December 3, 2007


I've wanted to keep cephalopods as pets, but harbour the fear that the cuttlefish would end up regarding me as their pet.

Dance, two-legs! Dance! We were not meant to beeeeee.
posted by subbes at 5:31 AM on December 3, 2007


exlotuseater's talk of escaping octopuses prompted me to do some digging. There's a snopes forum thread on the subject and more remarkably a scientific paper on the subject, which unfortunately I don't have the rights to view.
posted by edd at 5:37 AM on December 3, 2007


I am in love with this octopus and want to hug him and squeeze him and call him George.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:48 AM on December 3, 2007


Once again, I'll link to my tale of aquarium terror; featuring a stealthy octopus and some clown fish who were born into misfortune.
posted by quin at 7:22 AM on December 3, 2007


I just read the paper edd linked to above, and apparently most octopi that escape die within 10 minutes. Astroturf or open cell foam is all it takes to keep them in their tanks. Apparently, their suckers can't get a grip on it, and they can't drag themselves over it.

Most comforting was the finding that the deadly Blue ringed octopus is the least likely to attempt an escape. They could just be waiting for a minion to bring you to them, but the research didn't cover that.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:45 AM on December 3, 2007


I love that octopus video. If we lived underwater I would totally teach my pet octopus to steal stuff*.

*stuff that was less than one inch in diameter.
posted by rhymer at 8:47 AM on December 3, 2007


"After vigintillions of years great Kattullus was loose again, and ravening for delight."
posted by kurumi at 10:55 AM on December 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Darn, I thought this was going to be about calamari.
posted by lordrunningclam at 1:58 PM on December 3, 2007


I'm so torn when I eat mollusks like the ones mentioned above. They're both my favorite animals to observe, and high on the list in taste.

What on earth is interesting about observing oysters, clams, mussels & the like?

As far as cephalopods are concerned, I prefer not to eat them where possible*, out of respect for their intelligence, ambition, big eyes, beaks, heads covered with prehensile tentacles & jet-poweredness.

(*like my periods of 'soft vegetarianism', I won't order them, but nor do I turn up my nose if somebody cooks them for me)
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:30 PM on December 3, 2007


Ah, thanks for the link Kattullus. The wiki page had a surprising amount of information. After poking around a bit I came across this nova special on the cuttlefish fantastic color changing (90 sec teaser) These snippets (particularly the second: 'a dazzling show') are fantastic.
posted by lucidprose at 9:51 PM on December 3, 2007


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