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Posts Tagged ‘Squid

“Talk to the animals”*…

 

squid

 

Deep in the Pacific Ocean, six-foot-long Humboldt squid are known for being aggressive, cannibalistic and, according to new research, good communicators.

Known as “red devils,” the squid can rapidly change the color of their skin, making different patterns to communicate, something other squid species are known to do.

But Humboldt squid live in almost total darkness more than 1,000 feet below the surface, so their patterns aren’t very visible. Instead, according to a new study, they create backlighting for the patterns by making their bodies glow, like the screen of an e-reader…

How squid talk with each other in the dark depths: “Deep Sea Squid Communicate by Glowing Like E-Readers.”

* from a Leslie Bricusse song sung by Rex Harrison in Dr. Doolittle

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As we contemplate conversation, we might send carefully-deduced birthday greetings to William Ian Beardmore (WIB) Beveridge; he was born on this date in 1908.  A veterinarian who served as  director of the Institute of Animal Pathology at Cambridge, he identified the origin– a strain of swine flu– of the Great Influenza (the Spanish Flu pandemic, 1918-19).

WIB Beveridge source

 

Written by LW

April 23, 2020 at 1:01 am

Self-Portrait…

While excavating a Victorian site in Trowbridge (in Wiltshire), scientists unearthed a fossilised squid (Belemnotheutis antiquus) so well preserved that they were able to draw a picture of it using its own 150 million-year-old ink.

Dr. Phil Wilby, who led the excavation:

Normally you would find only the hard parts like the shell and bones fossilised but there are a handful of locations around the world where soft preservation of the muscle, guts and gills has taken place. We think that these creatures were swimming around during the Jurassic period and were turned to stone soon after death. It’s called the Medusa affect. They can be dissected as if they are living animals, you can see the muscle fibres and cells. It is difficult to imagine how you can have something as soft and sloppy as an ink sac fossilised in three dimension, still black, and inside a rock that is 150 million years old.  The structure is similar to ink from a modern squid so we can write with it…. We felt that drawing the animal with it would be the ultimate self-portrait… I suppose we could theoretically use it for food colouring, too, but I don’t think I will try tasting it.

The Telegraph (UK)

As we get in touch with our inner Nemos, we muse that it was on this date in 1973 that “Monster Mash”– featuring the vocal stylings (and personally-created sound effects) of Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers (which included the astounding Leon Russell and producer Gary Paxton)– went gold for the second time, selling over twice as many copies– over 2 milion– as its first time around (in 1962).

For all of its popular success, MM was differentially received by the cognoscenti.   Elvis Presley thought “Monster Mash” was one of the dumbest songs ever recorded.  “I was a real Elvis fan,” Pickett recalled. “One day after the song had become a hit, I bumped into this girl who used to hang around Elvis’ house in Los Angeles. So I asked her, ‘How’s the King?’ “Well, he hates your record, Bobby,’ she said. When I asked why, she told me, ‘He thinks it’s the stupidest thing he’s ever heard.  “So I said, ‘Well, whoever liked him anyway?’ I don’t think he knew who Boris Karloff was, to tell you the truth.” Although Karloff was alive when the record was released, Pickett never met him. “I heard that he was in a record store and was buying my album, which had ‘Monster Mash” on it, and a friend on mine was there and said, ‘Oh, Mr. Karloff, I know the young man who did the song and  he’s a real big fan of yours.’ And Karloff said, ‘I love his record.’ So I was thrilled.”

source: Branson General Store

Written by LW

August 28, 2009 at 12:01 am

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