All snails and their ancestors, the Gastropods, share a common feature. We people with fancy Ph.D.’s in biology call this a synapomorphy, a word derived from the Greek words for “together with”, “away from”, and “shape”, namely syn, apo, and morphe. You might think the shell is a common feature of snails, but Gastropoda also . . . → Read More: How the Gastropod Got Its Twist
This is a repost from my former blog The Oyster’s Garter and was originally published on March 24, 2008. I’m re-posting in honor of Kate Clancy‘s & Scicurious‘ Sex, gender and controversy: writing to educate, writing to titillate session at Science Online 2012, since this is one of the silliest bits of sex-related writing I’ve . . . → Read More: Perverted cannibalistic hermaphrodites haunt the Pacific Northwest!
Dr. Janet Voight of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago talks about exploring deep sea ecosystems and her research on deep sea marine invertebrates. Many of these images are familiar to me as I was generously invited to participate on a cruise to hydrothermal vents in 2003 by her while I was merely . . . → Read More: Janet Voight: In 1860s “Educated People Could Not Envision” Life on the Seafloor
“Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink.” – The Doctor The Weeping Angels are the monster of the week in one of my very favorite Doctor Who episodes. They look like saccharine angel statues…until they strike. The Weeping Angels could very well have been modeled . . . → Read More: Angels in Antarctica
The sea slug Elysia chlorotica I first discovered Dr. Pat Krug when he gave a talk at Scripps and revealed that he had named a new species of sea slug after Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer in order to “capture the spirit of sexual flexibility.” Now Dr. Krug is back with a great interview . . . → Read More: The Slug Song, and more from Dr. Krug the slug drug lug
Why don’t animal’s use wheels in locomotion? Why aren’t blue whales bigger? Why are there no freshwater starfish? Why are there no tree dwelling cephalopods? Why can’t my dog make a decent cocktail? These are the kinds of questions that intrigue me. Apparently I am not alone. Geerat Vermeij’s new paper “Sound reasons for silence: . . . → Read More: If Molluscs Could Communicate What Would They Say?
A blog war is starting to develop again. No I am not talking about this one. I am talking about the Great Invertebrate Wars. Everything was quiet until someone had to stir the pot. GIW I took many causalities with molluscs taking the clear win. Which invertebrate group will take GIW II? If polls are . . . → Read More: Molluscs, now with 100% more awesum
Jim has decided that he will join the darkside for the Invertebrate Battle Royale. That’s fine! We wouldn’t want someone with such poor cognitive processes on our team. Jim’s attack centers on the idea that the Aristotle’s Lantern is cooler than the radula. Now I just cannot stand for this. Especially after reading about . . . → Read More: You Should Fear and Respect the Radula