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Lyle Zapato

Life In Darwin's Universe: Alien Octopuses & Other Earthly Analogues

Lyle Zapato | 2014-10-10.5928 LMT | Paraterrestrials | Nature


Hypothetical alien octopus by Wayne McLoughlin, from theories of Gene Bylinsky.

I previously blogged about V. A. Firsoff's Life Among the Stars, which, among other things, explained how tree octopuses may one day become a spacefaring species. Life in Darwin's Universe (1981) by Gene Bylinsky, with illustrations by Wayne Mcloughlin, covers similar ground, asking what shape intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe may take under Darwinian constraints using Earth species as analogies. Of course it includes octopuses.

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Lyle Zapato

Help Fund Bobtail Squid Science

Lyle Zapato | 2014-08-07.8285 LMT | Nature

Sarah McAnulty and Andrea Suria, two Ph.D. students at the University of Connecticut, are working to understand how the immune system of Hawaiian Bobtail Squid is able to mediate the symbiosis between the squid and its bacterial symbiont, Vibrio fischeri:

The Hawaiian Bobtail squid has a glowing bacterium that lives in a specialized organ on their underside. As the squid swims at night, the bacteria glow, preventing predators from detecting the squid's silhouette against the moonlight. Squid immune cells are able to distinguish beneficial from harmful bacteria and know to kill only harmful bacteria. Our lab researches how the immune system makes this decision.

But the squid are hungry little guys who need lots of shrimp. So they (McAnulty and Suria, not the squid) have taken to crowdfunding site Experiment (like Kickstarter, only for science). Here's their project page, "How do Bobtail Squid choose their glowing bacterial partner?", and their video pitch:

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Lyle Zapato

Hatchan The Octopus

Lyle Zapato | 2014-07-28.9260 LMT | Entertainment | Retro


H8ERS GONNA H8

Hatchan The Octopus (蛸の八ちゃん, "Tako no Hatchan") is a Japanese comic about an octopus, Hatchan, who goes on land to learn about being human and has various misadventures. The author, Suihō Tagawa (田河水泡), is more famous for his Norakuro character, a semi-autobiographical, anthropomorphic dog soldier in a thinly veiled Japanese Imperial Army.

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Lyle Zapato

Octopus-Horde Attack: The Perle, 1906

Lyle Zapato | 2014-07-23.7900 LMT | Piratical Yarrings | Anarchy | Retro


A SINGULAR BLOW OF THE NET. — Boat attacked by octopus

The attack of the fishing boat Perle by an octopus horde in 1906, from Le Petit Journal's illustrated supplement (click for full image). The article it illustrated:

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Lyle Zapato

Video: Tree Octopus Camouflage

Lyle Zapato | 2014-02-10.0240 LMT | Fashion

YouTube channel SaveTheTreeOctopus presents another video of rarely seen tree octopus behavior, this time camouflaging:

One of the greatest challenges of tree octopus research is that most of the time they're indistinguishable from bark.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #25: NRO's Earth Encompassing Octopus

Lyle Zapato | 2013-12-10.6010 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots | NWO

NROL-39

The Internet is atwitter over the National Reconnaissance Office's logo for their newest spy satellite, NROL-39 (as tweeted by the Office for the Director of National Intelligence).

Given all the coverage in the increasingly paranoid mainstream media, my posting about this feels superfluous at this point, but also expected, since it's both a GPM and ties into my current theme of menacing cephalopods. So for the few of my readers who haven't seen it, there it is.

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Lyle Zapato

The Strange Adventures of Captain Quinton

Lyle Zapato | 2013-12-05.0890 LMT | Piratical Yarrings | Lost Worlds | Retro

'The Strange Adventures of Captain Quinton' cover showing man in diving suit battling giant devil-fish in sunken ship
(Click for larger cover and spine)

The above is the cover of The Strange Adventures of Captain Quinton: Being a Truthful Record of the Experiences and Escapes of Robert Quinton During His Life Among the Cannibals of the South Seas, as Set Down by Himself (1912).

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Lyle Zapato

Arboreal Octopi Of Planet Cholganna

Lyle Zapato | 2013-11-22.8895 LMT | Entertainment
Lyle Zapato

Horse Seized By A Devilfish

Lyle Zapato | 2013-10-22.8650 LMT | Retro
Lyle Zapato

Cumbrian Rocktopus

Lyle Zapato | 2013-07-04.6870 LMT | Nature | Random Found Thing