Friday, January 15, 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday

The Squid Fact Edition
(Why? Because I like squids. And my kids like squids.
Also, I think squids are proof that God is waaaaaay more creative than we ever imagine.)

1. Giant squids have green blood because their blood is built around a copper instead of iron.

2. Giant squids smell like cleaning fluid because they are full of ammonia. This makes them float if they don't swim (as opposed to the little ammonia-free squids which sink). It also makes them taste really bad. Just say NO to giant calamari. Interestingly, giant squids' major predators are sperm whales. These whales have no taste buds, so the ammonia doesn't bother them.

3. Squids, like octopus, can change the color, pattern, and the texture of their skin! Even better, many squids have bioluminescence: they can make their patterns light up in different colors. They are even able to change from bright pin points of light to a diffuse glow. Some squids seem to actually produce enough "wattage" to make their own search light!

4. Squids have no backwards or forwards. They can rapidly move by jet propulsion in any direction. They pull water in to their mantle, then shoot it out through their funnel.

5. Squids have the largest nerve cells in the animal kingdom. They are actually used as a model to study the human nervous system. These giant nerve cells give squids the fastest reaction time in the animal kingdom!

6. When squids swallow, their food passes straight through their brain. It's a hazard of having your head in the middle, I guess. Their brain is shaped like a doughnut, and the esophagus goes through the middle.

7. Squids are immune to nerve gas. No kidding! Researchers noticed that squids have the unique enzymes needed to break down the components of nerve gas, so they gassed a squid, and the squid was fine.

Extra bonus: You can make a life size model of a giant squid and hang it on your ceiling! But then, people will think you are nuts.

More quick takes (but probably not more squid) with Jen!

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