1. Bride of Shrek OM says

    It’s such a little cutie I’d love to give it a widdle tickle under its chin… squiddlies have chins?

  2. cameron says

    I wonder why people (by people I mean me) think that insects are alien and kind of scary and gross, but octopuses, which are just as alien, are cute and neat. It is a question for SCIENCE

  3. Bride of Shrek OM says


    Because HR Giger never scared the living shit out of me with an anthropomorphised squid. (but really I think insects are pretty cool too)

  4. HumanisticJones says

    cameron @7
    I wonder if it’s the degree of alien. If I remember correctly, the last common ancestor of humans and cephalopods was more recent than the one for humans and insects. A trivial amount of time on the scale of things, but maybe it was just enough.

    Either that or its the eyes. We more readily recognize a face from the eyes on a squid than from the compound ones on insects. Without the facial recognition, its suddenly odd to us.

    Just some thoughts on it since I tend to feel the same way. I still love a plate of tako sashimi though.

  5. Rheinhard says

    @7 – my guess would be:

    (a) Octopi have only 2 eyes which are superficially similar to our own (round, with clear cornea kinda covering and iris-like structure) – and the eyes are always the focus of emotion, as any animator can tell you. And,

    (b) Their mandibles are usually obscured from view in most pictures, while insects have all sorts of weird shaped clampy, mandible pedipalp type things all over the place

    Plus maybe

    (c) A lot of insects have some kinda sparse hairlike structures over various appendages (which looks kinda scarecrow-like). Octopuses, meanwhile, are usually smooth as a baby’s bottom. And when they’re not (if they exhibit some texture based camoflage in addition to color) that usually seems to distract a bit from the cuteness factor.

    So, to sum up: similar eyes, hidden mouth parts, and surface texture. That’s my theory.

  6. Therald says


    Its about food. when your growing up your constantly worried about buggs in your food. but squids are rarely an unexpected and unwanted food item.

  7. SaraJ says

    Awww, what a cutie-pie! Well worth the wait. (And it’s my birthday today, so it’s a great birthday cephalopod, too!)

  8. says

    Forgive me for being completely ignorant about cephalopod biology, but are those like little “wings” he/she has? If so, can anyone describe their function?

    Plain old curiosity here, never noticed anything like that on a tentacly thing before.

  9. Inky says

    Big huge eyes compared to body, and with pupils and irises that you can focus on, unlike the compound eyes of insects. Remember the alien pictures that they used to show on TV? No pupils. Eyes are completely black. We get a lot of information from pupil dilation and yadda yadda.

    Big huge eyes, looks like a baby, and looks squishy.

    I want to hug it! eeeeEEEEEEE!!

  10. Sven DiMilo says

    Harry, most “squids” (as opposed to octopuses) have some kind of fin-like vanes on the mantle. Some even flap ’em like wings. Others seem to use them like an arrow’s fletching–prevents roll and pitch when swimming.

  11. cameron says

    Maybe it’s because of my affinity with Cthulhu. You have to admit, he’s a pretty cute little guy too!

  12. Heatherly says

    That is the cutest thing I have seen today, but I cannot help but comment that it looks like it’s surrounded by crack.

    This is probably more because I just got back from a visit where a client had crack on the floor than to the actual visual similarity, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind. :)

  13. says

    AAAaaaawwwww, ~sigh~ I really need this cephalopod, especial after all the toxic levels of Teh Stoopid in the other thread.

    Seriously PZ, you got the best cephalopods

    The Australian Dumpling Squid. Neat, one of these days I’ll convince the wife to go to the GBF, might get lucky on an get a picture of one of these guys. Their small 20 to 30 mm mantle at adult stage. Live for only for 5 to 8 months,… must be busy little buggers. ;-)

  14. says

    I remember one night I was on a few years ago and I had the very good luck of finding a Caribbean Reef Squid, the guy was only about 10 or 12 inches in length and maybe 3 inches across the mantle. He had no fear of me, and I dropped air from my BCD so I resist the slow current running. I spent 15 minutes taking pictures and studying the little guy. He had am awesome neon green colouring and in the pitch black of the reef’s night he has flashing these amazing electric blue strips up and down his body.

    I called him Cthulhu of Cozumel

    Cephalopods are one of coolest group creatures in the oceans.

    Every time I go diving in the ocean, I’m on the look out for Cephalopods. I can never get enough of them, even the ones I seen over and over again.

  15. octopod says

    The cute, it slays me. I may lack maternal instinct, but I am a total sucker for the squiddy neoteny. It’s got little bitty stubby tentacles! Awwwww!

    Zorpheous, that’s an awesome picture. Very shiny squid! Everyone should go look at that picture

  16. DeadCat says

    @ Heatherly #22

    [quote] “This is probably more because I just got back from a visit where a client had crack on the floor than to the actual visual similarity…” [/quote]


    What? What is your job?

  17. eddie says

    Yeah. How do you sex a squid, exactly?
    Also, is the brown with yellow polka dots camo matching the outafocus background of its ma, or showing its apprehensive mood, or is this just one of the chocolate and vanilla flavoured ones?

  18. A. Noyd says

    cameron (#7)

    I wonder why people (by people I mean me) think that insects are alien and kind of scary and gross, but octopuses, which are just as alien, are cute and neat.

    It’s likely because many insects (and various other non-aquatic arthropods) are either poisonous to us, carry disease, feed off us, or show up in spoiled food. Given the historical distribution of human ancestors and the distribution of insects, developing an instinctive crawly thing aversion would be a reasonable way to help keep us healthy. (Same logic applies to snakes.) Since the last of our ancestors to be regularly devoured, poisoned, or otherwise harmed by cephalopods probably existed an insanely long time ago, we wouldn’t expect to find an aversion to them.

    This little guy is outright cute because we instinctively find babies with big eyes, big heads and stubby limbs adorable (thus discouraging us from abandoning our own in a hedge when they keep us up for 4 nights in a row, screaming). Anyways, that’s the most coherent scientific explanation I’ve heard.

  19. KI says

    I, for one, am very fond of bugs and do what I can to make their habitat productive and safe for them. You should see all the varieties of predator wasps I have in my back yard (I counted seven different species last year, and that without my glasses so I don’t know how many I missed).


  20. gaypaganunitarianagnostic says

    Those who consider cephalopods cute and cuddly are a small and select minority.

  21. amphiox says

    Cephalopod behavior, too, I think, draws us in. Because they demonstrate a type of intelligence akin to our own. Individualized, flexible, curious. We can more easily relate to that.

    Insects act more like machines, and the social insects are hive minded. We find those types of behavior more alien, more creepy.