Cuddle-less Cuttlefish

i-5daeecd6b1c5af001576bfb26087d31d-katie profile.jpg

by Katie the lowly intern

Just when you started to feel comforted by the surge of popular culture embracing cephalopods on TV, apparel and porn, scientists spoon out a dose of brutal reality. Researchers from University of Melbourne, University of Brussels and Museum Victoria have revealed another terrifying fact about octopuses. It's not enough that they can squirt ink, have beaks, move by jet propulsion, change colors in seconds, turn their eyes to keep their pupils horizontally oriented, have no bones and most horrifically: have eight arms... but give very few hugs*.

i-0e16f8d4edc060d1fe94b272e382ba4e-octo_mom.JPG

The original octo-mom.

Dr. Brian "Frightening" Fry, from U. of Melbourne, and his fellow octologists found that genes obtained from tissue samples showed that someone somewhere early in the evolution of cephlopods produced a venom protein. With each new generation, more proteins were added until now- as Dr. Fry puts it rather bombastically- they "have assembled their arsenals" of toxins.

Meaning that while the blue-ringed octopus is known to be extremely poisonous to humans, causing paralysis and respiratory arrest, it turns out many many more species are venomous. Just not so much to humans. Or maybe its like the daddy-long legs which has "the most powerful venom in the world, but just can't pierce human skin" which I learned on good authority from the kid down the block. Whatever the case, other creatures, like clams and crabs, aren't so lucky. The venom quietly shuts down their nervous system so the octopus can leisurely peck out their insides.

i-4cb32b0b8366a5177574837d70d7ce55-bluering_large.JPG

Big banks are not the only thing with toxic assets.

The team of researchers claim, of course, that this could lead to advancements in the treatment of cancer. It could also lead to the advancement of my nightmares.

* video of an actual octopus hug:

More like this

You may have noticed that it was Halloween earlier this week, and I've got a few pictures of the cutest little squid dressed up as humans and cadging candy from people. Cephalopods are so clever! Who could resist hugging a cephalopod as cute as that? And then when you're in close, the arms wrap…
There's a great octopus story coming your way tomorrow. For that reason, I thought it was about time to republish this - the first ever post I wrote for Not Exactly Rocket Science, about the ever-amazing mimic octopus. This article was a game-changer for me. I submitted it to the Daily Telegraph's…
Since several people were curious, the reason I'll be in Australia next year is that I've been invited to speak at The 2010 Atheist Global Convention in Melbourne, on 12-14 March 2010. All that way for 3 days? I'll probably arrange to spend some extra time on my own dime checking out the drop bears…
Two Extinct Flying Reptiles Compared: One Was A Glider, The Other A Parachutist: Archaeopteryx is famous as the world's oldest bird, but reptiles were flying about some 50 million years earlier than that (225 million years ago), even before large dinosaurs roamed the Earth. A new study of extinct…

Yikes!!!! Be very afraid!!

Knowing all this is going to make it really hard to eat them.

I wonder if they have the 'Survivor' soundtrack running all the time at that aquarium, or just for octopus attacks.

Poor little shark.

Or maybe its like the daddy-long legs which has "the most powerful venom in the world, but just can't pierce human skin" which I learned on good authority from the kid down the block.

I'll be invoicing you for the cost of replacing my computer monitor, which I've just put my fist through after reading this twaddle being propagated.

My ex was a cuddle-less cuttlefish.... Katie do u like to cuddle?

By christopher guerra (not verified) on 23 Apr 2009 #permalink

Katie loves to cuddle and encourages strangers to stop in for discreet cuddling sessions. Her address is:

15-00 Hazen St.,
East Elmhurst, N.Y.
11370

Coincidentally, Katie shares this address with the Riker's Island facility that houses inmates with AIDs.

I'll be invoicing you for the cost of replacing my computer monitor, which I've just put my fist through after reading this twaddle being propagated.