Thursday, October 18, 2012

Vampire Squid From Hell.

Was reading the magazine NewScientist yesterday and there was a short article about the Vampyroteuthis Infernalis, literally "Vampire Squid from Hell". They look like this:

The Vampire Squids from Hell use their thin, rectractable filaments like a fishing line, letting them drift and... collect bits of waste. These guys "munch on any dead plankton, crustacean remains and faecal matter that happens to pass by, making them the only cephalopod not to hunt living prey." Well. That's a bit disappointing given their impressive name and appearance. [1]

In the same issue NewScientist reports research by Kyung Jin Min and colleagues (recently published in Current Biology) that finds how "Eunuchs had an average lifespan of 70-years -- 17 years longer than their non-castrated contemporaries". One theory is that "... testosterone-fuelled reproduction comes at a price. When testosterone is lacking, the body shifts amino acids useful for cell proliferation to cellular defence." Mmm. Given I'm a social scientist, what about this one: Women make men do self-destructive things in order to have sex.

[1] From recently published research in Proceedings of the Royal Society by Henk-Jan Hoving.

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