Friday Cephalopod: Another sign of the Cephalopocalypse

Last week, I reported that a 3-meter long clubhook squid had washed up on an Oregon beach. This week, I must report that it has happened again.

You must understand that if a few have died of natural causes, there must be a legion of them lying in wait off the coast. This can mean only one thing: the Cephalopocalypse is nigh. I must get myself to Oregon soon, so I can stand on the beach to greet the onrushing horde, and praise them, as they devour me first.


  1. nomdeplume says

    “if a few have died of natural causes, there must be a legion of them lying in wait off the coast.” Well, unless these are the last few of a species nearing extinction…

  2. Callinectes says

    @#1 nomdeplume

    Doctor Myers is playing a game of statistics: the chances of a particular species dying of natural causes and washing up on a particular beach is low. Not so low that it’s not expected, but low enough that if it happens with unusual regularity then there must be some other cause. It could be that something is causing a mass die off, but PZ is assuming natural causes and accounting for the statistical anomaly my hypothesising a much larger local population than would normally be expected.

    If these were the last few it would be unlikely that we would see such a proportion of specimens turning up.

  3. nomdeplume says

    Yes, he is treating the beach as if it is the recapture part of a mark and recapture exercise. But such exercises only work if the recapture part is known to be random. In the case of the beach we don’t know this, so a few squid washing ashore really tells you nothing about the population they derive from.

  4. blf says

    Calamari session ! (Burp. I had some for dinner tonight, along with a fine vin and a superb brandy… hic!)