Cephalopod fandango

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Herr Doktor Bimmler commented on my recent post Flying frogs and cephalopods that he was expecting flying squid. Well, here they are – no video, unfortunately, but at least this one has some pictures. Apparently the squid fly to escape predators or to save energy when migrating, but they tend to do it at night, when they’re less likely to be taken by bird predators.

And I’ve finally found footage of the giant squid mentioned in the same post. You’ll find the whole thing here: it’s mostly in Japanese, but you can get a pretty good idea of what’s going on anyway. The appearance of the giant squid occurs about 6 minutes into the video. The creature has lost its 2 longest tentacles, otherwise it would be about 26 feet long.

And for other cephalopod tidbits, here is an interesting short video on octopus intelligence – the creature has a surprising degree of problem-solving ability, which is a key aspect of intelligence.

I’ve also heard a story about a research lab that was wondering why the number of fish in their lab tank was dwindling day by day, and they found the answer when they installed a camera: every night, the octopus in the other corner would climb out of its tank, crawl along the bench, climb up into the fish tank, and eat some of the fish, before climbing back to its own tank to be discovered innocently floating about in the morning. That sounds like not only intelligence, but guile.

And to wrap up the skills that will enable octopuses to take over the niche currently occupied by humans, we have the bipedal walking octopus, and rare footage of an octopus walking on land.

Now all they need is the ability to conduct free elections and create a byzantine banking system, and we’ll be out-evolved.

[Featured image: Squid eye. Image by wildxplorer, licensed under Creative Commons.]


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