December 14, 2010
Once again, the various trials and tribulations of life have, of late, consumed my time/brain/blogging energy. I hope to get back to at lest a semi-regular blogging schedule very soon.
Thank you for bearing with me. Your patience will be rewarded.
September 3, 2010
This amazing animation showing how Physeter macrocephalus uses echolocation to hunt, is from the Whales Tahora exhibit now at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The Sperm Whale starts out hunting boring old fish, but don’t worry, he meets an delicious Architeuthis by the end of the clip!
June 4, 2010
January 26, 2010
I have been eager to feature this particular Threadless design since I restarted ISK last year, but I was holding off on the hope that they would eventually reprint it…and now they have! Most squid v. whale scenes usually leave little doubt that the whale is going to end up with a stomach full of delicious ika sashimi, but I have a definite feeling that whale sushi is on the menu tonight!
“The Squid vs. The Whale” is $18 (on White American Apparel tee) and is, at the time of this writing, still available in all men’s and women’s sizes.
Incidentally, I first heard about this shirt on the old Squid.us blog. All cephalopod aficionados everywhere were waving their tentacles with joy on January 12 when it rose again from the murky depths. Welcome back Squid.us!
December 20, 2009
My plans for a week of short Christmas ornament posts got waylaid by a time destroying combination of illness, work, weather, and social commitments. So here are the two that were intended for Thursday and Friday…
This Santopus (or should that be Cephaloclaus?) ornament sports a biologically inaccurate toothy grin (and eye brows), but I’m willing to go easy on it because its arms all twist and curl in different directions. And I think that’s neat.
This one is probably my favorite of the bunch—a Sperm Whale and and a Giant Squid (and some echinoderms) on a wreath of seaweed. The ornament came from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. It is particularly appropriate because the museum’s logo was inspired by one of the oldest specimens in their collection: a complete skeleton of Physeter macrocephalus.
November 20, 2009
, originally uploaded by Divine Harvester.
I’m not what the story behind this is, but I like it!
Update: The photographer says that he spotted this sign in the Old Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA.
October 28, 2009
We interrupt Halloween Week to bring you this exciting news bulletin:
It has long been known that the Giant Squid was on the menu of Physeter macrocephalus, the Sperm Whale, but the legendary encounter has never been captured on film. Before the first specimens of Architeuthis were described by science, whalers would find their remains among the stomach contents of harvested Sperm Whales, and those whales would sometimes bear enormous sucker scars. There were even reports from sailors who claim to have witnessed the two leviathans locked in mortal combat, and the image of squid vs. whale has become iconic.
Underwater photographer Tony Wu photographed a pod of six whales—five adults and a calf—in the waters off Japan’s Ogasawara Islands (the same area where scientists filmed a living Giant Squid for the first time back in 2005). Dr Mark Norman speculates that the adults were in the process of teaching the young whale how to dive and hunt for food. Recovered nearby was one of the squid’s 3.5 meter long tentacles.
See these amazing photos at The Daily Mail Online.
September 18, 2009
Safari Ltd., as I have mentioned before, is the leading purveyor of high-quality plastic toy animals. Over the last ten years or so, they have produced three different versions of Architeuthis—the legendary Giant Squid.
The first Giant Squid made by Safari was this tiny guy. It was part of a small assortment of similarly-sized marine animals which were available, if I recall, in the mid-90s (although there is no date printed on the figure). This assortment has been out of production for a while, and I think it was part of the Habitat Authentics line. (Although I haven’t been able to dig up any information on it—thanks for NOTHING Internet!)
The figure itself is not as accurate as Safari’s second Giant Squid sculpt (see below). While it is a perfectly lovely squid, generally, its mantle and tentacles are too short to be an Architeuthis (something we’ve seen before).
Safari’s next version of the Giant Squid really hit the mark. The 1998 Monterey Bay Aquarium Giant Squid is approximately 18″ long, and it remains the best Architeuthis replica to date. It retails for $9.99 and is still available from SafariLtd.com.
Here the Giant Squid is locked in combat with Safari’s Monterey Bay Sperm Whale. As you can see, the scale is a little off…despite a few unverified reports from the 19th century, it’s unlikely that they ever get quite this big.
In 2004, the Wild Safari® Sealife Giant Squid was released. This is the same sculpt as the Monterey Bay squid, only scaled down (approximately 10″ long) for the cheaper Wild Safari line. Buy on SafariLtd.com or look for it at Michael’s, A.C. Moore, or the better sort of museum gift shop.
Here are both squids in a side-by-side comparison. Both versions have wires in the long feeding tentacles, making them the most poseable Safari replica.
Learn more about Architeuthis on Tree of Life.
Previously on ISK: Wild Safari Sealife Octopus