Category Archives: molluscs

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have some photos from New Zealand sent by reader Keith Cook, whose comments and IDs are indented. These attachments are a collection of pics from around my home and the local beach. I include some landscapes a la Stephen Bernard, seeing and raising his with a South Pacific sunrise or two… and a moon rise […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Carl Sufit sent us some nice underwater photos, and I hope we’ll have more from him and others in the future. His notes are indented: After reading your notes from Hawaii, with various underwater images, I felt it was time to send you some of mine. Underwater photography is even harder than surface photography, […]

Captain Milt digs for razor clams

I love razor clams (and I mean in the culinary rather than romantic sense), but these poor guys don’t have a chance against the expertise and fancy equipment of Captain Milt. Here he gets a good haul of Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula). I once had them stir-fried with black bean sauce in a Vancouver […]

A spotting of the spectacular and rarely seen “dumbo octopus”

“Dumbo octopuses” are in the genus Grimpoteuthis (there are 31 species) and, for cephalopods, are pretty damn cute. They’re named after the fins on the mantle that make them look like Walt Disney’s flying elephant Dumbo They propel themselves by flapping these fins, as you’ll see below. The species are cosmopolitan but aren’t often seen […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have two contributors today. First, some marine lovelies from Jacques Hausser in Switzerland. His notes are indented: I’m just back from Britanny. Switzerland is a landlocked country and we lack close contact with the sea. Thus each spring we organize an optional two weeks internship on coastal ecology and faunistics at the Biological Station […]

The fantastic eye of the scallop revealed in a new paper

Perhaps you didn’t realize, like reader Gregory (who sent me the Science paper), that scallops have eyes. But they do indeed—up to 200 tiny eyes lining the mantle, each a millimeter across: about the size of an “o” on a printed page. Here’s what the array looks like in the scallop Pecten:   And a […]

Jeremy, the lonely left-handed snail, finally mates—and then dies

On September 21 I put up a post about a rare left-handed mutant of the garden snail, Cornu aspersa, named Jeremy.  (That post explains why snails of only identical coiling can mate, due to their hermaphroditism and the position in which they copulate.)  Nearly all garden snails (and 90% of all snail species) have right-handed […]

Australia’s (semi)terrestrial octopus

This new video, from Attenborough’s BBC Earth series, shows an octopus taking to land to hunt animals in tide pools. As usual, it’s a really nice clip, but is lacking one bit of information. The YouTube notes say this: “This extraordinary species found in Northern Australia is like no other Octopus, and land is no […]

Can I use Venus Fly Traps to get rid of garden pests?

by Matthew Cobb pic.twitter.com/Q0naKEkK92 — Science (@scienmag) March 18, 2017 Betteridge’s law of headlines strikes again.

Directionally asymmetrical eyes (and behavior) in a squid: left eye big, right eye small

Last week I wrote three posts (1, 2, and 3) on “directional asymmetry”: the phenomenon whereby an animal is asymmetrical in a way that shows “handedness”; that is, a trait is differentially expressed or developed on a consistent side of the body, either the right or the left. One example is the enlarged canine tooth of […]