Hectocotylus

September 6, 2011

Hectocotylus:

The arm that gets all the fun –

Come mating season

Most male cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish, nautilus) have an arm dedicated to reproduction called the hectocotylus. Essentially a tube of muscle, the arm passes sperm packets to the female during mating. The structure of the hectocotylus can be species specific, making it a handy tool in helping classify an organism. The arm was named when one was found detached from the male after mating and still left in the female, thus being confused for a parasitic worm. Sadly, cephalopds are generally short-lived and most die after mating.


Ode to Fieldwork

September 1, 2011

Engines on – Away!

Samples see beneath the waves.

Red right returns you. 

The school year is finally here and I lucked out with getting on (and accidentally in) the water on the first day of my Experimental Marine Bio class. We practiced sampling with a ponar grab to take up sediments from the floor and using a secchi disk to measure light penetration. Here’s wishing you a good semester and lots of learning and good science!