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Oct 27 2011

Hunting shrimp

Watch the cuttlefish stalking shrimp, cautiously advancing by walking on a couple of arms — it almost looks like a tetrapod for a few moments. And then, finally, the lightning-fast strike. Oh, man, I wish I had a retractable spear built into my face. There are so many occasions when that would come in handy.

(Also on Sb)

33 comments

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  1. 1
    richardelguru

    “I wish I had a retractable spear built into my face”
    Might not improve your reputation as a kisser

  2. 2
    Jay

    Faster than the eye can follow

  3. 3
    DLC

    You know, it’s amazing to see the incredibly wide variety of survival schemes the various species evolved over the eons. Feeding in particular can be anything from the mundane to the bizarre.

  4. 4
    Thomas Eldon Robbins

    “Oh, man, I wish I had a retractable spear built into my face. There are so many occasions when that would come in handy.”

    From what i can tell, you do, it’s called your tongue. And yours is so sharp it does not even have to touch the target to wound or kill.

  5. 5
    TheDawgLives

    It looks like an underwater kitten the way it stalks about… The one thing saving the human race is that cats don’t have retractible spears.

  6. 6
    ~~Silk

    It looks like a cat stalking a bird! Notice even the twitching “tail” on the back end.

  7. 7
    PZ Myers

    No, I don’t. Doesn’t matter what I say, they’re still standing afterwards. I want something like this:

    Creationist: If evolution is true, why are there still mon…

    PZ: <thwibbt>

    Onlookers: AAAAAAAIAH! You ripped out his brain!

  8. 8
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Uh oh, the intersucktion fainting couch crowd will be here soon to point fingers and tell us how violent we are.

    Bad form PZ, You heartless bastard.

  9. 9
    uke

    Dang. What an awesome critter.

  10. 10
    pensnest

    Awesome. It looks like a R.O.U.S.

  11. 11
    marko

    Onlookers: AAAAAAAIAH! You ripped out his brain!

    Or perhaps…
    AAAAAAAIAH! You inserted a brain!

  12. 12
    ChasCPeterson

    Ssssssshhhhh!!!!!

    be vewy, vewy quiet.

    I’m hunting shwimp.

    [shrimp: ehhhh, what's up, Doc?]

  13. 13
    Lenux

    >Oh, man, I wish I had a retractable spear built into my face.
    So that’s why you’re a God-hating atheist isn’t it? You’re just jealous of Jesus, because he has a sword coming out of his mouth with which he can slay unbelievers(Revelation 19:21), and you don’t!

  14. 14
    Kristjan Wager

    I am sure you’d get a lot more respect from your students – at least after using it the first time.

  15. 15
    Greg

    “… and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”

    Not only is he crazy late, he’s dawdling at the sushi bar.

  16. 16
    lamanga2004

    OMG submarine cat. As above, I also saw it ‘flicks its tail’ a little bit. That is the weirdest thing ever. It really does look like a cat.

  17. 17
    barbarienne

    Wow! Totally like a cat, as others have observed. I wonder if, like cats, cuttlefish sometimes settle back down in a “eh, this is taking too long; I just want a nap, now” kind of way.

  18. 18
    Glen Davidson

    Onlookers: AAAAAAAIAH! You ripped out his brain!

    It’s not like the creationist actually used it, you know.

    Glen Davidson

  19. 19
    cicely

    I, too, have often wished for a retractable spear, though not necessarily in my face.
    -

    Onlookers: AAAAAAAIAH! You ripped out his brain!

    1) He wasn’t using it for anything anyway; no harm, no foul.

    2) One less dolt to answer, one less zombie to fry.
    -

  20. 20
    A. R

    Spear in face could be quite useful for food preparation as well…

  21. 21
    Amphiox

    It’s a pre-adaption for the inevitable cephalopod conquest of the land!

    Once they solve the salt balance thing, we’re all doomed.

    Swampus and Squibbons, here we come….

  22. 22
    Halcyon Dayz, FCD

    Onlookers: AAAAAAAIAH! You ripped out his brain!

    Doesn’t sound very nourishing.

  23. 23
    Phoenician in a time of Romans

    No, I don’t. Doesn’t matter what I say, they’re still standing afterwards. I want something like this:

    Creationist: If evolution is true, why are there still mon…

    PZ:

    Onlookers: AAAAAAAIAH! You ripped out his brain!

    Face it, Myers, YOU are that annoying nerd whining “But WHY can’t I play a mind flayer?!?” when rolling up characters for D&D…

  24. 24
    cicely

    But if he DMs his own group, he can play as many mind flayers as he likes!
    :)
    -

  25. 25
    Phoenician in a time of Romans

    “You see before you a cuttlefish, coyly displaying a bright mating signal. Roll to see if you resist its sexy allure.”

    “Um, Paul, me and the guys have been talking, and we’re really uncomfortable with the direction your campaign has been going in…”

  26. 26
    Part-Time Insomniac, Zombie Porcupine Nox Arcana Fan

    Unexpected, but seriously cool. I found myself wanting to PET the cuttle while cooing, “Who’s a cute little fishie? You, are! Yes, you are!” Fucking bastard would probably try to spear my face.

  27. 27
    mythusmage

    #7, PZ

    But then lawyers from Wizards of the Coast would be after you for a trademark violation.

    (1,000 nerd points for recognizing that in-joke. :) )

  28. 28
    mythusmage

    #5,

    Who needs spears when you’ve got daggers? :)

  29. 29
    Ichthyic

    “You see before you a cuttlefish, coyly displaying a bright mating signal. Roll to see if you resist its sexy allure.”

    “Um, Paul, me and the guys have been talking, and we’re really uncomfortable with the direction your campaign has been going in…”

    ah, this makes me wonder if you have ever read:

    Darths and Droids

  30. 30
    Noadi

    I’m not sure if I’m hoping cephalopods evolve longer lifespans or not. I’m convinced the only reason they don’t currently have a complex underwater civilization is that it’s pretty hard to do that when you only live a couple years and die after mating. If they have a shift in their life cycle to multiple breeding cycles instead of one, we’re doomed.

  31. 31
    Evader, the parasite-infested branch on the evolutionary tree

    I want “I wish I had a retractable spear built into my face” on a T-shirt.

  32. 32
    MikeM

    #7, PZ: What brain?

  33. 33
    theophontes

    the cuttlefish stalking shrimp

    Aaah. At last some evidence that Teh Ebil Oberlawd is actually in awe of teh kittehz. What you see here is (as everyone has noticed) a creature that behaves EXACTLY like an underwater kitteh.

    Follow the irrefutable logic:

    * TEO loves creature A. But,
    * creature A behaves just like creature B,
    * therefore TEO loves creature B!
    * etc

    QED…

    (Simply substitute A for “cuttlefish”, B for “kitteh”, C for “sea”, D for “air”, E for “retractable spear built into face” … I leave it as exercise to work out the various permutations,… but the logic is infallible.)

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