Sounds familiar

There was something familiar about this article on the colossal squid. It seems that when they’re young and small, they’re long, lean, and equipped with vicious hooks on their arms, but as they get older and larger, they get shorter, wider, and become slow-moving “giant gelatinous blobs”.

So…squid get tenure, too?


  1. says

    Dr O’Shea speculated that they might blow up like that in order to be able to raise their young inside their mantle… what’s your excuse?

  2. says


    Aw, it sounds cute. They can get fat and lazy all they want–no one’s going to mess with something that size floating at them, no matter how wussy they are.


  3. says

    Reminds me of Steve Jones’ gag in Almost Like A Whale:

    “The sea squirt, after an active life, settles on the sea floor, and, like a professor given tenure, absorbs its brain.”

  4. Chiaroscuro says

    how I miss Jules Vernes Giant Octopuses, but don´t worry we still have the Great Cthulhu to inspire fear in our minds and hearts.

  5. says

    Luke @ #10:

    That joke is very old. Fossil records of the joke have been tentatively dated to the mid-Cambrian, raising the tantalizing possibility that the joke may predate not only the tenure system but sea squirts themselves.

  6. Darby says

    Forgive my serious comment.

    Wouldn’t a colossal squid have a colossal reach? Would it need to be that agile if it could snatch prey from a considerable distance? It might go from a pursuit lifestyle to an ambush lifestyle – and what better innocuous form than a gelatinous blob?

  7. Torbjörn Larsson, OM says

    Would it need to be that agile if it could snatch prey from a considerable distance?

    Like tenured professors with graduate students research?