“It’s like a deep-sea version of Truck Nuts”

Yes, that’s a direct quote from National Public Radio. I was giggling this weekend when I turned on the legendary NPR quiz show Wait Wait..Don’t Tell Me, and heard actress June Squibb (naturally) answering trivia questions about giant squid. The show didn’t delve very deep into the science, so I thought I’d go a little further with a blog post.

What did I learn? Well, as hinted at in the title of this post, female squid can acquire testicles on command (sort of – female market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) can control the coloring on a specific white stripe that gives the appearance of testicles on their body. So they kind of just paint on their balls when needed. Link to original study is here.)

Secondly, some squid have “elbows”. Specifically, the show was talking about the creepy alien-looking Magnapinna (bigfin) squids that have been caught on camera hovering eerily in the water, while holding their tentacles at 90 degree angles.

(image from Wikipedia)

So put on your yoga pants, grab your pumpkin spice latte, and listen to this fun segment from Wait Wait..Don’t Tell Me:

2001 squid that has elbows

Holly Bik (160 Posts)

I am a computational biologist at the University of California, Riverside. My research uses DNA sequencing and genomics to study microbial eukaryotes (yeah, nematodes!) in marine ecosystems, with an emphasis on evolution and biodiversity in the deep-sea. I can neither confirm nor deny that I like Unix more than I like going to sea.


, ,