After your comments on the last post and deliberation by a crack team of judges that included myself and some fellas named Evan, Jack, and Jim here are the top 5 manliest species.
Adam Etzion wrote this about the Vampire Squid in the comments of the last post
Sit back, swish that bourbon around and contemplate the deep red velvet of your smoking jacket. Now imagine its lining being covered with spikes and leather, ready to turn into a bike gang leader’s riding gear at your whim.
That would be cool, wouldn’t it?
Know then that the Vampyroteuthis Infernalis – The Vampire Squid from Hell, can do exactly that.
While certainly not the biggest cephalopod out there, this tough little critter lives in the deep sea, dealing with immense pressures and dim-to-non-existent lighting.
Taxonomically speaking, it’s neither squid nor octopus, but a more primal relative of both.
Spread between its arms is a thick membranous skin and lining the inside of each arm is a series of spiky protrusions. When alarmed, the Vampire Squid covers its body with this mantle, essentially switching itself inside-out, the manly, phallic spikes now jutting outwards toward any badass stupid enough to challenge our deep-sea friend.
This is one invertebrate I would not be happy to meet in an aphotic alley.
How could I not include the Vampire Squid after writing like that. Besides including it here means less writing for me and more time “visiting” with the other esteemed judges.
Next we turn to the Cigarette Cone. Described by Ron:
Incognito deadliness – manly and supremely handsome, and carrying weaponry that is superb; like Sean Connery as 007 (everybody since has been a mere pretender). In the marine animal world, my vote is for Conus geographus. It kills its prey with a wonderfully functional harpoon-like hypodermic tooth [watch video above], and the LD50 of the venom to humans is anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times that of King Cobra venom. Whereas the King Cobra injects 10s to 100s of mg of venom, an individual of this Conus species can get you with a fraction of a microgram. Anecdotally it is called the “cigarette Cone” for the belief that if stung, you have just enough time to have a cigarette before you are forced to give up smoking permanently.
A real manly snail would allow me to smoke a cigar as opposed to cigarette before I died, but so be it. And let’s not forget Richard Dalton.
Chuck mentioned the Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus). The siblings eat each other in the womb in the ultimate uterus WWF. But I got to go with the Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier). It possesses a trait all men wish we has but do not despite all our best efforts…the ability to eat anything. Head over to my other post to read about the most manly of sharks.
@WhySharksMatter nominated the newest species of Yeti Crab, the Hoff Crab. We all know David Hasselhoff is manly. He allowed us the freedom to want a talking car to kick criminal ass and run down the beach with all of our chest hair in full sunny glory. Thank you David! The presence of Yeti Crabs at an Indian Ocean hydrothermal vents reminds us that nature also loves a hairy chest.
And last is the Colossal Squid! Now some might be shocked given my affinity for Giant Squids and the DSN logo that I would go for the Colossal Squid but here me and the judges….mmm judges…out. At half a ton this badass represents the largest invertebrate ever known. The Giant Squid is longer but not heavier. The Colossal Squid has hooks that run the length of its arms. It weighs a half ton and has hooked arms! The eye of the Colossal Squid is bigger than the Giant Squid. In fact the eye is the largest eye of any animal. FYI, Kevin belongs to a sect that believes if you stare into the giant eye you can see God. The Colossal Squid can also cloak those eyes like a Klingon Bird of Prey. Manly! Did I mention hooks? So overall the Colossal Squid is the largest invertebrate on earth with special powers that stem from its large eyes, possesses stealth technology, and massive tentacles lined with razor-sharp hooks. The Giant Squid is the cute cuddly one.
Honorable Mentions: Barnacles (we all know why), Mantis shrimp (for speed, power, and claws shaped like clubs), Seahorse (a daddy pulling equal time), Tufted Puffins (read here), Anglerfish (because the males are nothing but gonad), Lionfish (in the words of RicMac “gluttonous inhalation predator, solitary, venomous, invasive”) and of course