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The definitive host: What Lurks In The Deep?

The definitive host

de·fin·i·tive host (duh-fin'eh-tiv) n. 1) An organism where a parasite undergoes the adult and sexual stages of its reproductive cycle 2) Someone you go to for interesting stories and/or facts, and puts on one hell of a dinner party 3) This blog, devoted to science and other geeky subjects

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What Lurks In The Deep?

The world is such a fascinating place, and yet there is so much that we do not yet know, especially regarding the deepest depths of the ocean and the creatures that lie within it. Due to the limitations of our bodies, it is extremely difficult to explore that world, but by studying animals that make the daily trek from the depths to the shallows, we can begin to create a picture of life in the deep.

Some of these very creatures are from the molluscan class of animals known as cephalopods (squid, octopuses and cuttlefish). Personally, nothing quite draws me in like a cephalopod, which is why I was excited to read the book Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, And Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid by Wendy Williams.

The book was a magnificent read, and I learned a lot about cephalopods, such as that some squid species will rip off one of their own arms to escape a predator, exactly how cephalopods have greatly impacted human medical care, and how the incredible camouflage mechanism of the cuttlefish works.

Thanks to the website Deep Sea News, you can read my review of Williams' book here.

If you are at all interested in this highly unique class of animals, please give the review a read and be sure to pick up this book!

Of all the animals I have seen in my life, there is something in the eyes of a cephalopod that make you think that as you are staring at them, they they are staring back at you just as intensely.

P.S. For all of you English majors/teachers/experts who are scoffing at my use of "octopuses" instead of "octopi,"I have news for you: they are both right!

Don't believe me? Watch this video!

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