1. Brownian, OM says

    I’ve seen whole junior high classes that complicate the issue of individuality.

  2. Brownian, OM says

    I enjoy these CreatureCasts, but they really need to work on the sound. Sophia Tintori has a tendency to lower her voice to the point of inaudibility at the end of sentences.

  3. Glen Davidson says

    Evolution continues to re-do what it’s done countless times before–reinventing colony specialization over and over again.

    It’s less like conjoined twins, and more like cells dividing yet remaining attached and specializing–like we develop. Only the unit that specializes is not the cell, it’s a multicellular animal already.

    Glen D

  4. kiyaroru says

    I’m using Firefox on an old EeePC so the vimeo video doesn’t work worth a crap. The Wikipedia article is pretty cool.
    Also, in case anyone missed it, FSM.

  5. llewelly says

    Cool video, but the audio needs a higher quality compression setting, and the narrator sounds as if she is too far from the mike.

  6. ptucker says

    Humans have co-evolved with many forms of bacteria (isn’t most of our body made up of genetic material that’s not our own?) So, don’t all animals already complicate the issue of individuality?

  7. mmelliott01 says

    Brian the Siphonophore Messiah: Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me, you don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals!

    Siphonophore Crowd (in unison): Yes! We’re all individuals!

    Brian: You’re all different!

    Crowd (in unison): Yes, we are all different!

    Siphonophore in Crowd: I’m not.

    Another Siphonophore: Shhh!

    — And while that’s going on, here is the news for siphonophores

  8. littlestar says

    These are so neat! I’m also curious if the illustrations are real, there is some serious science fiction fodder here.

  9. Butch Pansy says

    I was under the impression that multicellular life was just a way for mitochondria, with a seemingly boundless sense of theater, to make more of themselves.

  10. zoobiewa says

    The images are gorgeous but their theorizing isn’t all that compelling. They don’t really give a case (or even an explanation) for the members simply being cells. How are they different? Is there a genetic difference? If you cut one off would it be able to live alone? I’m sure there are many reasons why we don’t simply consider them to be cells but we sure don’t hear a word of them.

  11. John Morales says


    How are they different? Is there a genetic difference? If you cut one off would it be able to live alone?

    IOW, you want information to be spoon-fed to you; independent research into existing literature is sooooo hard… it’s not like you could just do a term search on some vast, world-wide database, right? ;)

  12. Akira MacKenzie says

    It looks like something the Miskatonic Antarctic Expedition of 1931 dug out of the ice.

  13. Crudely Wrott says

    We have never been ourselves, oh no!
    The self and id are dreams, you know.
    Feeling unique is merely for show.
    And the mind is committee
    Whups, there we go!
    We’re made up of many,
    As countries and such.
    A sense of uniqueness
    Is just a nice touch
    We bestow on ourselves,
    Since we like it so much.
    To our inward providers
    We give not a thought
    But without their labors
    We all would be naught.