Risque Tentacles

It's art, not taboo tentacles.

From Fort Ignorance.

More Tentacle Trinkets

Glowing, laser etched tentacle pendant.

Available at Missmonster.com

Tasty Tentacle Refreshment



NEW YORK, NY - December 29, 2008 –Mnemosyne LLC has teamed up with the people who brought you the Anime After Dark Film Festival to bring you a new taste sensation!

This new beverage, inspired by the genre of adult Japanese animation called Hentai, is a perfect caffeine rush for gamers, cosplayers, and comic book fans.

“Obviously I don’t take the brand very seriously… we can’t. The best I can do is develop products that I’d want to buy myself and frankly this is the right combination of ridiculous and delicious.” Says brand creator, Dekker Dreyer.

Each 12oz glass bottle of Tentacle Grape comes with a collectors’ edition label limited to the first thousand cases. Six packs are currently available for pre-order at www.tentaclegrape.com for $15.99 plus shipping. Orders before January 5th 2009 will be eligible for complimentary Tentacle Grape branded condoms or bumper stickers.

Additional flavors and label designs are slated for the third quarter of 2009.

ABOUT MNEMOSYNE: Mnemosyne develops and manages products for fans of genre entertainment. Founded in 2004, Mnemosyne runs the massively-multiplayer game "Rubies of Eventide", and builds geek-chic brands including "Tentacle Grape" soda, and Lolcattz (collectible card game).

Thanks to my friend Elliot for finding this first at Kotaku.org!



Available at Etsy.com.
More tentacle fashions. Back to news shortly, I promise.

Cannibalistic Tentacles?

Speaks for itself.

Originally from Flickr.


Happy Belated Cephalodmas!

I missed it! It was December 22. More evidence that there is quite a niche for tentacle news on the net -

Figure out what this holiday means to you at the source,

Be sure to explore their Far Reaching Tentacles (links), too!


Tentacles Blowing in the Wind

Today in year old tentacle news, from Pink Tentacle last January. I decided to present a screen shot, as the photograph looked so lovely on Pink Tentacle's site.

See it full size at Pink Tentacle.


Art and Tentacles

I think that glass is one of the most versatile, beautiful and expressive mediums for art. Glass is particularly adept at interpreting nature - see the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, particularly his floriform vases.

Both Tiffany, and one of my modern glass favorites, Dale Chihuly, have works in the Victoria and Albert Museum of decorative arts in London. Chihuly made the fabulous, tentacled chandelier on display in the lobby.

Big surprise that the Tentacle Blogger Girl (that would be yours truly) likes this stuff, eh?


I was reminded of it when I saw this recent video of siphonophores - deep sea, colony organisms that appear to function as one creature.

Coincidence? I think not.

Chilhuly? Or CTHULHU?

As usual, Pink Tentacle's got the full story on the undersea adventurer.


Squid Tentacles

Originally uploaded by kowitz

You know you love it.

Meet the Purple Tentacle!

Art inspired by a computer game called Day of the Tentacle. No, I have no idea either.
Originally found at 4thegirlgamers.blogspot.com.

Sci Fi Story Featuring Tentacles

Interested in learning more about tentacles, but can't stand dry scientific journals? Check out a great story on Ignoring Friction, a blog by the physics students of Gettysburg College. They intend the blog to, "communicate entertaining scientific information and analysis in a clear, factually correct, and creative fashion."

The story is called One Cell in the Sea and I won't you anything else, save that it features romance, jellyfish, and and frozen, sliced, poisonous, virus infected tentacles.


Tentacle Teeth

FYI Manly is the name of the town from which this man hails. I cannot vouch for his masculinity.


December 19, 2008

BELIEVE it or not.

When Manly diver David Baxter emerged from the water clutching a set of false teeth he had wrestled from the tentacles of an octopus he knew he would have trouble convincing people his tale was true.

“In 20 years of diving it’s the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever encountered,” he said.

The proof was the set of dentures, complete with algae, that he had recovered from the Manly swimming enclosure between the wharf and Oceanworld while filming seahorses. Mr Baxter said he first saw a common octopus in a crevice, its two eyes visible and a tentacle draped just below in a Bela Lugosi pose. It was also clutching a row of false teeth.

Mr Baxter is a bit of an octopus aficianado - he showed a blue- ringed octopus at the recent Ocean Care display - and he knows they have beaks not teeth. The octopus had “sucked up” the teeth, presumably from the seabed floor, with its tentacles.

“I never expected to have an octopus smiling back at me,” he said. “I was so startled I spat my regulator out.”

Mr Baxter assumes someone dropped them while swimming, - perhaps they coughed or sneezed.

Knowing how expensive dentures are he gently prised the teeth from the tentacles and is hoping they can be returned to their owners.

They probably haven’t been in the water that long - they are still in great condition other than a little algae posing as plaque.

If these are your chompers we’ve got our tentacles out for the full story. Please phone Undertow on 9976 1941 for their retrieval and a story to last a lifetime.

Originally spotted on The Daily Telegraph, who pointed me to the Manly Daily.


Severed Tentacle Fights on!

I must credit the photographer with this particular headline.

Found on Flickr. Click through the set for more severed tentacle pictures.


Artsy Tentacles

Check out these great tentacle paintings for sale by Karly Fae:

A Plentacle of Tentacles (grey) Tentacles a Plentacle (tan)

You can find out more at her website: Karly Fae, Printmaker

Sad and Hurtful Tentacles

From a German ad raising awareness about sexual abuse. Depressing but moving, the creepy tentacle is somewhat amazing.

Originally from Adweek.com's Freakiest Ads of 2008


Tentacle Terror

Close call for 3 year old girl stung by deadly box jellyfish

Published: Monday, 15-Dec-2008

A three year old girl is lucky to be alive after she was stung by a deadly box jellyfish at a remote beach in Milingimbi in the Northern Territory, Australia.

The youngster was reportedly playing in the shallows when she stepped on the adult jellyfish, which injected her with venom.

She collapsed and her family rushed her to a nearby local health clinic where doctors and nurses worked desperately to revive her.

The Arnhem Land community of Milingimbi is about 440km east of Darwin and visiting community GP Dr. Paul Spillane says the girl was "lucky to survive" and was saved because there were experienced nursing and medical staff in the health centre at the time who were able to resuscitate her before she was evacuated to Gove District Hospital.

Dr. Paul Spillane says she was very lucky that the health centre was so close to the beach as had it been any further away she may not have lived.

Dr. Spillane says children are worst affected by the creature's venom and he has warned families to avoid swimming in the sea during stinger season which is from October to May.

Dr. Spillane says during the stinger season parents need to realise a day on the beach can quickly turn into a life-or-death situation and the best strategy is prevention and avoiding the water altogether.

Since first reported in 1883, box jellyfish have been responsible for at least 64 deaths in Australia - the last fatality was also a Northern Territory child, a six-year-old boy, who was also playing the shallows near the Milikapiti barge landing at Snake Bay on Melville Island in November last year which was the first stinger fatality in the Territory in more than a decade - the previous death was a three-year-old girl at a remote community in February 1996.

As many as 30 deaths have been recorded from jellyfish stings in the Territory and ten have been children.

The Department of Health and Families says first aid is essential, victims must be got out of the water and the stung area immediately doused with vinegar and if the person is seriously ill, CPR may need to be carried out.

Box Jellyfish (Chironex Fleckeri) are pale blue and transparent and bell or cubed shaped with four distinct sides - they can measure up to 20 cm along each side of the cube or bell and have as many as 15 tentacles on each corner which can be 3 metres in length with up to 5,000 stinging cells.

The box jellyfish swims along at speeds of up 4 knots in a jet-like motion and appears along the shore in calm waters when the tide is rising - they are often found near the mouths of rivers, estuaries and creeks following the rain and feed on small fish and crustaceans.

The box jellyfish season starts with the onset of the wet across the top of northern Australia, usually around October and lasts until April - further south along the northern Queensland or northern Western Australia coast the season is usually from November to March and prevents swimming in the sea unless the beaches have protective stinger nets or a purpose designed stinger suit is worn; fortunately the Great Barrier Reef is free of box jellyfish through all the seasons.

The venomous sting causes such excruciating pain that victims go into shock and can drown before reaching the shore and unless treated immediately, a victim has virtually no chance of surviving.

In treating the sting methylated spirit or alcohol must not be used as only domestic vinegars poured liberally over the tentacles inactivate the stinging cells allowing the tentacles to be removed.

Where antivenom is unavailable, pressure-immobilisation may be used on limbs after the stinging cells have been inactivated and artificial respiration and cardiac massage may be needed until medical assistance is available.

I found it on News-Medical.net


Evolving Tentacles

Tentacles test tenets of evolution
Posted by Elie Dolgin
[Entry posted at 18th November 2008 02:42 AM GMT]

Novel genes, rather than regulatory DNA, underlie the evolution of morphological traits, according to research published today (Nov. 17) in PLoS Biology. The new study reports that genes found in simple freshwater animals -- but not in any other evolutionary lineage -- can drive changes in body plan, and stokes the flames of a long-standing debate among evolutionary developmental biologists.

"This is the first study that puts together comparative molecular evolution data and experimental data into a cohesive case for this mode of evolution," Günter Wagner, an evolutionary developmental biologist at Yale University, who was not involved in the research, told The Scientist.

The underlying genetic basis of morphological adaptation has been hotly debated in the evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) field. On the one side, many argue that innovations in body plans stem from modifications in the spatial and temporal activity of well-conserved regulatory DNA, known as cis elements. Others, however, argue that adaptation and speciation originate from structural mutations in the protein-coding regions of genes themselves. Although many agree that both sorts of changes take place, the relative importance of each process has remained unclear.

Now, a team led by Thomas Bosch, an evo-devo biologist at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, has found that expression of a single gene drives major differences in tentacle formation between two closely related freshwater polyps of the genus Hydra -- score one for the structural mutation camp. What's more, the tentacle-related gene was found only in Hydra, with no shared genes in other evolutionary lineages.

Hydra tentacle formation during budding

Bosch's team scanned all the messenger RNAs of two closely related Hydra species for genes differentially expressed in the main polyp-specific structures -- tentacles, nematocysts, and the stalk. Their transcriptome-tracking turned up Hym301, a gene coding for a secreted protein that was expressed in the tentacles of one species and everywhere but the tentacles in the other species. By using transgenic and mutant Hydra that overexpressed Hym301, as well as RNA interference to silence Hym301, they showed that the gene affects the general timing and order in which tentacles arise in the different cnidarians.

Genes such as Hym301 that don't resemble known coding sequences in any other organisms -- known as "orphan" genes -- are thought to constitute around 5 to 10% of all genes across most taxonomic ranks, and, yet, geneticists have largely ignored them for two reasons. First, characterizing a gene of no known function is time-consuming and laborious. Second, many suspected that these genes had counterparts in other organisms, but limited data precluded their detection.

"You can't ignore [orphan genes] anymore because databases are getting very complete," Bosch told The Scientist. "There are obviously evolutionary selective constraints on keeping them for millions of years... They can't just be nonsense genes that are lying around."

Perhaps the best examples of orphan genes, noted Bosch, can be found in the innate immune system where organisms need highly self-specific defense mechanisms. He said he also has unpublished results of Hydra anti-microbial peptide genes with no genetic equivalents outside the genus. Further, he points to human beta-defensin as another lineage-restricted antimicrobial peptide gene that is found only in mammals.

"These novel genes are important for adapting an organism to its particular needs," Bosch said. "That's why these genes are not found outside [their] taxon."

Caltech evo-devo biologist Eric Davidson, who was not involved in the study, however, doesn't think that the results of the paper can be generalized to account for fundamental evolutionary processes in other organisms. "What makes [a] body plan is fundamentally and generally the deployment of regulatory genes, not the specialized downstream genes," he wrote in an E-mail.

Wagner takes a more nuanced stance toward the study's implications, though. "It certainly doesn't undermine the fact that cis-regulatory changes are important in morphological evolution, but it broadens the horizon by showing that other mechanisms, including new genes, can contribute to morphological differences."

Image courtesy of PLoS Biology

Article originally at The-Scientist.com (free registration, but you have to log in)

Both real and digital tentacles

This guy breeds cuttlefish, and has a great URL as well -


Like what you see? He also makes and
sells elegant preserved squid sculptures. So many tentacle gifts, so little holiday.


And another tentacle website for you


A Tentacle for Someone Special

In need of a special gift for that Tentacle lover in your life? May we recommend the $185 sterling silver Tentacle pendant? Hint, hint.

Made with love and for sale with the same over at Shopaganda.ca


Lovely Tentacles

Yes, via Boing Boing, via Decona.de, via JWZ.

Gratuitous Tentacle Photo Included

Everything's in Season for Squid Along the Pacific Coast
Tom Stinstra
Sunday, December 7, 2008

Out of Half Moon Bay, 100 miles out to sea, the ocean surface erupted for a half mile in a froth of white water and tentacles.

"The squid were eating a school of fish," said commercial fisherman Bob Longstreth. "I've seen them out there. Serious predators."

In another episode, a gang of Humboldt squid had circled the boat New Salmon Queen from Emeryville. The squid were in full attack, with the anglers aboard hooking up on every drop. Capt. Craig Shimukuzu got out his video camera to film the action and as he pressed the record button, the ocean "blew up" - a pod of 10 killer whales came to the surface in a feeding frenzy of their own, slashing the squid to bits with their teeth.

On Thursday morning out of Bodega Bay, 20 fishermen aboard the New Sea Angler caught an estimated 15,000 pounds of Humboldt squid in 90 minutes; 400 squid that averaged 30 pounds and topped out at 70, with 90 percent of them hooked near the surface. Capt. Rick Powers said he found the squid on the northwest edge of Cordell Bank.

The arrival of the giant schools of Humboldt squid means two things, good and bad:

-- Good: They are providing the most exciting new fishing (and good eating) on the Pacific Coast.

-- Bad: These squid are predators that could alter the basic food chain in the ocean.

Humboldt squid were first seen off California in 1930, then not again until the El Niño year of 1997. They disappeared again for five years, but since 2002, they have been here to stay, according to the Monterey Bay Research Institute, taking over new territory. They are best known off the coast of South America, and in recent years, Baja California, but have expanded their range north along the Pacific Coast.

They are one of the fastest growing creatures in the world, transforming from a single cell to as much as 100 pounds during an average life span of about one year. They average 15 to 60 pounds and measure up to 6 feet long.

"They're an eating machine," Powers said. "They eat their body weight daily."

Humboldt squid are built for the job. They have 10 tentacles that are filled with teeth-lined sucker cups, including two extended tentacles that pull victims into razor-sharp beaks. "We've seen them eat each other," said Craig Stone at Emeryville Sportfishing.

Field scout Pence MacKimmie, a commercial fisherman out Half Moon Bay, said he and others have seen squid marks on deep-water black rockfish. Stanley Carpenter, a sport angler, said he saw squid marks on salmon out of Fort Bragg. Longstreth has seen them mow down huge schools of sardines and anchovies. Off of Chile, Humboldt squid are blamed for the collapse of hake.

"We don't know the impact," Power said. "That's the scary thing."

It's possible that squid have ravaged schools of salmon and rockfish, contributing to their low numbers, but this has not been verified. Capt. Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat in Half Moon Bay has donated the stomach of every Humboldt squid caught on his boat the past few years for a federal study that is analyzing the contents.

The chain of amazing episodes reported by those on the sea tells you this: They eat everything in their paths.

One night, for instance, when the lights were left on aboard the commercial boat Promise, the glow on the night sea attracted needlefish, anchovies and sardines around the boat. That's when the Humboldt squid showed up and attacked, Longstreth said. By morning, 800 pounds of squid were stuck to the side of the boat and the skipper had to gaff them one-by-one to get them off.

On the Huli Cat, in the middle of a similar frenzy, Mattusch found what he thought was a two-headed squid. On close inspection, however, he saw "one had actually eaten the body of another, and only the head was sticking out."

Originally local news at SFGate.com


Tentacle-free Tentacles

I introduce you to the INCREDIBLE MIMIC OCTOPUS.

This fascinating creature was discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia on the bottom of a muddy river mouth. For the next 2 years, scientists filmed nine different mimic octopuses, Thaumoctopus mimicus (Norman & Hochberg, 2005), impersonating sea snakes, lionfish, and flatfish—a strategy used to avoid predators. The mimic octopus reaches about 60 cm long, and is typically brown and white striped.

The mimic octopus has been observed shifting between impersonations as it crosses the ocean floor to return to its burrow.

Read more, watch more at MarineBio.org

Originally via Dark Roast Blend.


Off Topic Tentacles

It has come to my attention that many people come to this blog, this one-stop source for your up-to-the-minute tentacle news - and expect something different. After considering many responses ("I don't care," and "It's nice when people use their imaginations," ranking high among them), I can only tell you, tentacle fans, that
Today in Tentacles seeks to bring you news about real, hard hitting tentacles - and not "fantasy" tentacles. I am confident that the internet is in no short supply of that kind of thing. Really.

The internet is also full of blogs with tentacles in their name that have absolutely nothing to do with tentacles at all!




(and if that's not enough for you, try the next one - )


nicolelang.blogspot.com (the blog is called "TENTACLES")

Mysteriously, tentacle.com is available.


Many Tentacles, Many Surprises!

That's the *real* headline, folks.

Census of world's sea life tallies up tentacles of surprises
A shark playground, a mountain of sea stars, and octopi revealing an unsuspected Antarctic ancestry are among the mysteries unveiled in the latest worldwide efforts, released Monday, to draft a census of all sea life.

At the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in Valencia, Spain, which begins Tuesday, researchers will discuss the "Census of Marine Life" update report. It details efforts by more than 2,000 scientists from more than 80 nations to account for all the species in the world's oceans by 2010.

"We're in the home stretch," says project senior scientist Ronald O'Dor. "Not to say someone won't pull up a giant squid from somewhere unexpected, but we think we are going to have a very good census."

Since 2000, the initiative — executed by boat, tags, nets and submarine — has uncovered more than 5,300 new species, as diverse as blind lobsters and sulfur-eating bacteria. Among the highlights:

• The deepest hydrothermal vents, 21/2 miles beneath the Atlantic Ocean, are thronging with species of shrimp and mussels.

• Great white and other sharks head to a previously unknown offseason Pacific region, perhaps to mate.

• Tens of millions of brittle sea stars were discovered tip-to-tip on an undersea mountain in the Antarctic Ocean.

• Combined genetic evidence from deep-sea octopi shows that many newer species evolved from a predecessor living in shallow Antarctic waters about 30 million years ago.

The researchers say changes in the ocean driven by a warming climate, overfishing and environmental damage add urgency to their effort. Moreover, the oceans remain by some estimates 95% unexplored, which makes them rich with discoveries.

"The more we look, the more we find," says molecular biologist Mitchell Sogin of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., who heads census efforts to profile marine microbes. Microbes total perhaps 90% of ocean life, he says, and they help keep the Earth habitable by cycling oxygen and carbon into the atmosphere.

"I would say we are in a second Golden Age of marine biology," says project scientist Patricia Miloslavich of Venezuela's Universidad Simón Bolívar, comparing today's efforts with those of earlier naturalists such as Charles Darwin and Carl Linnaeus, who first set out to catalog species. "I hope it doesn't end."

From USA Today Technology

Your Source for Up-To-The Minute Tentacle News

So you know that time we told you about how we were going to bring you up-to-the minute, breaking tentacle news? You know, right there in the header? Well, we weren't lying.

But we also realized that there was a good deal of UNDOCUMENTED tentacle news floating around on the net that had to be recapped. While we're not going to tell you about the giant squid siting of 2005, we will potentially go back a few months in tentacle time.


Tentacles on Display

World's first colossal squid display open soon
NZPA | Saturday, 29 November 2008

The Museum of New Zealand will open the world's only colossal squid exhibit on December 13.

The 495 kg, 4.2m female colossal squid will be on show at Te Papa in time for the summer school holidays, and will stay on free display for three years.

It will be lit in a custom-built tank, with displays of various body parts including the lens of its eye, and models of its beak and tentacle swivel hooks that can be touched and rotated.

"This exceptional specimen. . . contributes to our understanding and appreciation of our oceans depths and the amazing creatures that inhabit it," said Te Papa chief executive Seddon Bennington.

The tank with the squid inside weighs 3 tonnes and will be transported from the museum's Tory St workshops on Monday.

It is the most massive invertebrate ever discovered, and holds the record for the world's largest eye, measuring 27cm in diameter.

The squid was heavily hyped as a monster and "T-Rex of the Seas" after it was landed by the fishing vessel San Aspiring – gnawing on a hooked toothfish – in the Ross Sea in 2007.

Donated to the museum by then Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton, the squid turned out to be more a damp squib in terms of the 10m length initially estimated by the trawler skipper.

But when it was defrosted in April, the female squid proved fascinating in many other matters than size.

Marine biologist Dr Steve O'Shea, the main squid expert at Auckland's University of Technology, put together a theory that the female's body may be dark-coloured to cloak the glow of thousands of baby squid, which each have luminous glowing spots near their eyes.

"My research suggests they're not the T-Rex of the sea, they get more docile as they mature. . . as she got older she got shorter and broader and was reduced to a giant gelatinous blob, carrying many thousands of eggs," he said at the defrosting.

"It's likely she was just blobbing around the seabed carrying her brood of eggs, living on dead fish, while her mate was off hunting."

Discovery Channel US filmed the defrosting and examination of the colossal squid for a documentary that was released in the North America earlier this year.

From the aptly named Stuff.co.NZ

Robot vs. Tentacle

Not quite a robot - but I think you'd agree the iPhone is fairly close. - Audrey.

'But the food is taking a little while, so we get two orders of “live octopus”. An assortment of sauces are brought out, followed by two plates of chopped, raw octopus tentacles, which are, amazingly, still moving. They’re a little difficult to pick up with chopsticks, since the suction cups are still going strong and clinging to the bottom of the bowl. I grab a chunk, dip it in an sesame oil sauce, then pop it in my mouth. If you don’t start chewing right away, the tentacles start sticking to any part of your mouth they can— but the fact of the matter is that octopus is a delicious animal, so when it’s this fresh, it’s really, really good....

One tentacle manages to drop on GFB’s iPhone, and sticks with Herculean strength, even wiggling it’s way up toward the top, as Mr. Meatball yells “Keep it off the earpiece!”'

From Day 86: South Korea of Man Bites World

Next: Opposable Thumbs

Alien-like Squid With "Elbows" Filmed at Drilling Site
Kelly Hearn
for National Geographic News
November 24, 2008

A mile and a half (two and a half kilometers) underwater, a remote control submersible's camera has captured an eerie surprise: an alien-like, long-armed, and—strangest of all—"elbowed" Magnapinna squid. (See photos of Magnapinna.)

In a brief video from the dive recently obtained by National Geographic News, one of the rarely seen squid loiters above the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico on November 11, 2007.

The clip—from a Shell oil company ROV (remotely operated vehicle)—arrived after a long, circuitous trip through oil-industry in-boxes and other email accounts.

"Perdido ROV Visitor, What Is It?" the email's subject line read—Perdido being the name of a Shell-owned drilling site. Located about 200 miles (320 kilometers) off Houston, Texas (Gulf of Mexico map), Perdido is one of the world's deepest oil and gas developments.

The video clip shows the screen of the ROV's guidance monitor framed with pulsing inputs of time and positioning data.

In a few seconds of jerky camerawork, the squid appears with its huge fins waving like elephant ears and its remarkable arms and tentacles trailing from elbow-like appendages.

Despite the squid's apparent unflappability on camera, Magnapinna, or "big fin," squid remain largely a mystery to science.

ROVs have filmed Magnapinna squid a dozen or so times in the Gulf and the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

The recent video marks the first sighting of a Magnapinna at an oil development, though experts don't think the squid's presence there has any special scientific significance.

But the video is evidence of how, as oil- and gas-industry ROVs dive deeper and stay down longer, they are yielding valuable footage of deep-sea animals.

Some marine biologists have even formed formal partnerships with oil companies, allowing scientists to share camera time on the corporate ROVs—though critics worry about possible conflicts of interest.

Real Deal

The Perdido squid may look like a science fiction movie monster, but it's no special effect, according to squid biologist Michael Vecchione of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who is based at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

In 1998 Vecchoine and University of Hawaii biologist Richard Young became the first to document a Magnapinna, based on juveniles of the Magnapinna pacifica species. M. pacifica was so unusual that the scientists had to create a new classification category to accommodate it: the family Magnapinnidae, which currently boasts four species.

In 2001 the pair released the first scientific report based on adult Magnapinna specimens, as seen via video. The study demonstrated that Magnapinna are common worldwide in the permanently dark zone of the ocean below about 4,000 feet (1,219 meters).

(See "'Weird' New Squid Species Discovered in Deep Sea" [December 20, 2001].)

In 2006 a single damaged specimen from the North Atlantic led to the naming of a second Magnapinna species, M. talismani. And in 2007 the scientists documented two more: M. atlantica and a species based on a specimen from the mid-Atlantic.

That fourth Magnapinna species remains nameless, because its arms were too badly damaged for a full study. "However, it was clearly different from the three known species," Vecchione said.

The Magnapinna species apparently have only slight physical differences, mainly related to tentacle and arm structure in juveniles.

The subtlety of those variations makes it impossible to identify which species is in the oil-rig video, given that at least two Magnapinna species—M. atlantica and M. pacifica—are known to inhabit the Gulf of Mexico, Vecchione said.

Enduring Mystery

Based on analysis of videos not unlike the one captured at the Perdido site, scientists know that the adult Magnapinna observed to date range from 5 to 23 feet (1.5 to 7 meters) long, Vecchione said. By contrast, the largest known giant squid measured about 16 meters (52 feet) long.

And whereas giant squid and other cephalopods have eight short arms and two long tentacles, Magnapinna has ten indistinguishable appendages that all appear to be the same length.

"The most peculiar structure is that of the arms," said deep-sea biologist Bruce Robison of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California.

Referring to the way the tentacles hang down from elbow-like kinks, Robison said: "Judging from that structure, we think the animal feeds by dragging its arms and the ends of its tentacles along the seafloor as it drifts slowly above it."

The elbow-like angles allow the tentacles to spread out, perhaps preventing them from getting tangled.

"Imagine spreading the fingers of a hand and dragging the fingertips along the top of a table to grab bits of food," he added.

But NOAA's Vecchione suggests a feeding behavior that is more like trapping than hunting. He speculates that Magnapinna passively waits for prey to bump into the sticky appendages.

Read the full article at NationalGeographic.com

Why Tentacles?

Well, why not?

I find it hard to believe that you even have to ask that question.

Needless to say, it started with an in joke over ten years ago and has been going strong ever since.

This green Blogger template is somewhat tentacle-like. It's true, tentacles come in many colors - note the excellent blog pinktentacle.com - but I'm a tentacle traditionalist. Most people associate tentacles with aliens or sea creatures, which are often green. Consider it "classic tentacle" ambiance.

This blog is brought to you by nerd camp, Google News Alerts, East Asia and your imagination.