November 2, 2010
I don’t know why Vampyroteuthis infernalis doesn’t make it onto more t-shirts. They’re such cool looking creatures! In fact, now that I think about it, this is the first Vampire Squid shirt I’ve ever seen. This would have been a great post for the week leading up to Halloween. Too bad I went AWOL from the blog for so long…
Anyway, here’s what the RadCakes site says about this design:
Lurking deep in the abyss, far below the outreach of man, the Vampire Squid patiently wait for the chance to surface and take over the mortal world…….
In reality, rather than spending time plotting world dominance, the Vampire Squid spend their nights zooming about, confusing enemies with their bioluminescent organs. They can also be found floating outstretched like umbrellas.
Vampire Squid is a lemon yellow, lime green, and black design silkscreened by hand on Sea Foam American Apparel unisex shirts. The design is also available on girls shirts, thermals, and hoodies. American Apparel shirts tend to run small, and may shrink slightly when washed the first time.
It took me a second, but I eventually noticed their little fangs, which is totally biologically inaccurate on multiple-counts…but so cute!
I recently discovered RadCakes (www.radcakes.com), and they have a ton of cool cephalopod shirts, as well as sharks, manta rays, jellyfish, angler fish, and something called a “space narwhal.” This will definitely not be the last time one of their designs gets featured on T-shirt Tuesday.
June 24, 2010
Here we have another excellent toy from Wildlife Artists. It was produced in 1999, and, to my knowledge, it is the only plush reproduction of Vampyroteuthis infernalis ever made.
This little guy is 7″ tall/long, and its arms also span about 7″ across. The detail on this toy is fantastic! Not only is the color dead on (I love the eerie pale blue eyes!), but there are also a number of lighter spots on the mantle to represent the animal’s photophores. If you flip it over, its arms are lined with little dark marks to indicate the cirri, and it has a dark spot for the mouth/beak.
Like the plush cuttlefish (also by Wildlife Artists) featured earlier this week, I got this at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in 2001. That year they had a cool special exhibit about life in the abyssal ocean, and the gift shop was full of cephalopod-y goodness.
October 26, 2009
I can’t think of a better way to kick off Halloween Week than with a look at Vampyrotheuthis infernalis, the enigmatic deep-sea cephalopod whose name literally means “vampire squid from hell!”
V. infernalis is the only known living representative of the Order Vampyromorphida, and, despite the common name “Vampire Squid,” it is considered a closer relative to the Octopoda (octopuses) than the Decapodiformes (squids and cuttlefish). It is also not actually a vampire, but this small (~1 foot long) cephalopod is still wonderfully creepy.
- It lives in the lightless ocean depths (2,000-3,000 ft.)
- Its body has a jellyfish-like gelatinous consistency
- Its color ranges from jet-black to blood-red
- It has eight webbed arms, tipped with suckers and lined with fleshy spines (called cirri), and two retractable sensory filaments
- When threatened, it inverts its “cloak” so that the cirri point outwards in a menacing fashion
- Adults have two ear-like fins, but during development there is stage where they have four, a condition unique among cephalopods
- Its skin is covered with light-producing photophores, as are its unpigmented arm tips, which can also produce a luminescent cloud of glowing particles suspended in a mucus matrix
- Its milky-blue eyes have sphincter-like “eye lids”
The Vampire Squid is sometime referred to as a “phylogenetic relict” because it possesses features thought to have been shared by the primitive ancestors of both octopuses and squids. Fossils from Middle Jurassic deposits in France indicate that vampyromorphids go back at least 165 million years.
September 16, 2009
This detailed replica of the fascinating deep-sea cephalopod Vampyroteuthis infernalis most likely came from a museum or aquarium gift shop. It’s hard to say since I probably bought it about ten years ago. If I had known then that in 2008 I’d start a blog dedicated to cephalopods, perhaps I would have taken some notes…
The replica is about 6″ long and made of soft purple rubber. (It seems there is also a green version.) It has red eyes and four large glow-in-the-dark photophores. Apart from “TAMJ 97©” printed on the underside, I haven’t been able to find out anything specific on who made this toy or if it still available anymore.
Read more about Vampyroteuthis on Tree of Life.