Friday Cephalopod: I’ve been there

The paternal view of childbirth is that you watch the mother struggle for hours, the child finally emerges, the midwife cleans him* up, hands him to you, and that’s when he unloads a bladder full of pee on you. This photo of a newly hatched bobtail squid’s first reflex reminds me of that…

Euprymna tasmanica juvenile releasing ink on hatching.

Figure from Cephalopods: A World Guide (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Mark Norman.

*Boys are the most obvious culprits, since when they cut loose they hose down your shirt; girls discreetly dampen their blankies.


  1. Frumious B says

    The paternal view should be happy he gets off with only a shirt full of pee as opposed to 9 months of pregnancy and 12 hours of labor. (being tongue in cheek, not hateful)

  2. Primordial Ooze says

    You can just see the little guy gulping in cryptfuls of Vibrio fischeri. Or is it cryptsful?

  3. lo says

    okay if you have some time could you take the picture and add some annotations coz i think hardly anyone who didn`t exactly specialize in marine biology can make sense of this photo.

    Besides as a scientist you should litterally dissect themes and educate others not just present ubiquitous beauty and leave it up to the interpretation of the viewers.

    It might not be obvious but one of the reasons for the lack of comments is that most are prolly baffled by what they see here. Please explain.

  4. JBL says

    Dude, there’s a lack of comments because the post has almost 0 content and has been up for just a shade over an hour and a half.

    Also, there’s a little caption at the bottom of the picture describing exactly what’s going on: a juvenile Euprymna tasmanica (google tells me that’s a “Southern dumpling squid”) has just hatched and is releasing a stream of ink (visible to its left, arcing downwards to the lower left corner of the image). What more do you need?

  5. W. Kevin Vicklund says

    The caption on the picture reads:

    Euprymna tasmanica juvenile releasing ink on hatching.

    That was all I needed to know.

  6. Azkyroth says

    Heh; I have vivid memories of my nephew being about 2-3 months old when his mother/Trish’s sister was changin his diaper, and he peed on Trish–who was sitting about 4-5 feet behind him. It was unbelievable.

  7. lo says

    well for one thing i can`t even make out the embroy, nor dorsal, ventral side at least i googled it so the tail is ink not a tail.

    I`d wanna see the organs denoted for the ink release, etc, etc.

    I surmise the white blob is the hatchling? Heck i can`t make anything out on this photo – in fact if it wouldn`t have read squid i would have mistaken it for some computer generated artwork – and those of you who aren`t into marine biology certainly wouldn`t be much different. So it would be nice if someone of you could take the time and explain in short what i see here, concise and factual.


  8. Xanthir, FCD says

    Dude, seriously, the note under the picture is as concise and factual as you can get. The glowy thing is a baby squid, the black thing shooting off to his left is ink. You the bright spot on him is his eye, and you can see his fins in pink/white.

    I am not a biologist by any stripe, nor do I know much at all about squid. But reading PZ, I *do* know what they look like, and it’s pretty obvious what’s going on in the picture.

    Also, your apostrophe key is under your right pinky. You keep hitting the ` key, which is on the left side and way far up there on the keyboard. It looks… weird.

    Anyway, the Friday cephalopod is mainly just for displaying a pretty picture of a squid/octupus/cuttlefish/etc. It’s not really for teaching, which PZ does in many other posts.

  9. says

    Girls may discretely dampen their blankies, but they definitely have the whole liquid poop-spray thing going on.

    And dude, PZ may be a biology teacher, but that doesn’t mean everything he does is meant to teach you biology. It’s just supposed to be a neat picture.

  10. lo says

    nah my keyboard is kinda messed up, but yeah i can make sense of it now. thx. I also watched a few videos to see them move for real. The picture looks kinda surreal due to the overexposure.