A new edition of Circus of the Spineless is up at Wild About Ants. Click on over to read the best that the blogosphere has to offer on invertebrate zoology.
Not that I want to steal the Circus’s thunder, but one of the pages it got me to is so incredible that I just have to bypass the middleman and link it up. Behold Carl Chun’s 1910 Masterpiece: “The Cephalopoda”. This book is full of some of the most beautiful and accurate illustrations of cephalopods you’ll ever see. BibliOdyssey covered it here.
As the sticky post above proclaims, ’tis the season for giving over here at the Southern Fried Science Network. I’d like to point out one project at donorschoose.org that is particularly relevant to the cephalopod geeks among us: a California teacher from a moderately impoverished school district wants to give his fifth graders the opportunity to dissect squid! As part of your Cephalopod Awareness Days celebration this year, why not help these students develop their own cephalopod awareness? (If you’d like to see other projects the SFSN is supported, head on over to our donorschoose.org page and click around.)
Finally, you may remember a couple of posts I wrote a while back about the some studies on the mechanics of the octopus arm (here and here). It turns out that this research started in part because of an interest in emulating cephalopod appendages in robotics. If the idea of a completely flexible arm that can adapt to grab objects of any size, shape, or texture doesn’t get your robotic-engineer juices going, I don’t know what will. I don’t know if the current prototypes could duke it out with a real octopus, but they can pick up a wide variety of things (with the help of little suckers, no less!) It’s a start:
(Note that these videos are from 2006. I cannot attest to the current state of this research. If you know something about it, please comment and let me know what’s up!)
If you’re worried about all the link posts that have shown up here, don’t get too concerned. I have two meaty posts in the works that will be out in October, plus an interview series.
Thanks for reading!