Happy cephalopod day! 頭足類の日おめでとうございます~

This morning my reader alerted me that today/yesterday is/was the Second Annual, Unofficial International Cephalopod Awareness Day. Decided that it’s the perfect opportunity to attempt to shape up this blog website into an infoportal. (Yes, this means that my main blog, ASHIRA, would remain on blogger for now.) Might as well “launch” this site proper ^_^

First off, greetings from Pulau Semakau, with this little baby cuttlefish saying a big “HELLO!!” to everybody.
baby cuttlefish (1)

So what are cephalopods? According to Wikipedia, the word “cephalopod” comes from the Greek word, Κεφαλόποδα (kephalópoda), literally meaning “head-feet”. Sounds a little bizarre doesn’t it? But when you take a closer look at a cuttlefish/squid/octopus, it does look like a little blob of a head attached to a bundle of legs tentacles, doesn’t it? Seems like the Greeks have certainly gotten that description right!
IMG_4160 cuttlefish

Some common features that differentiate these tentacle-y critters from other marine animals is their bilateral body symmetry, prominent head, and relatively large eye-to-body size ratio. They also belong to the Mollusca phylum, meaning they are related to creatures like clams, oysters, and even cowries! You may wonder how come they all belong to the same phylum when octopuses, squids, and cuttlefish don’t have a shell like the animals listed. What makes most cephalopods (with the exception of the nautilus) unique is that they DO have a mollusk shell, just that it is largely reduced (or even absent in the case of octopuses). If you’ve ever seen someone prepare a cephalopodian scrumptious gourmet delight, you would have seen  squid pens (no they don’t write with them, despite possessing ink of their own…) and cuttlebones. These are what remains of their Mollusk shells.
IMG_1287 octopus

There’s just SOooo much one can talk about regarding cephalopods but the thing that never fails to fascinate me is their intelligence and ability to change colour almost instantaneously. They are generally taken to be the smartest of the spineless ones (aka invertebrates) and have pretty well developed senses and brains. Their highly developed nervous system probably accounts for their big bright eyes. Can easily imagine them oogling back observing us in return as we go in search of these lovely critters, especially at more nocturnal settings….. Sometimes I even feel that they are trying to tell me something but being a human, I don’t really understand Cephalopodian modes of communications, so….
IMG_4155 cuttlefish

Oh yes. In case you are wondering. ALL these photos were taken locally, here in Singapore.

More posts on:
WildShores of Singapore

p/s. Do bear with me as I continue to figure out how I want to focus structure this website. WordPress just has so much more potential for information management!


Should I or shouldn’t I?

This is just a test page while I figure out if I:

(1) wanna migrate my blog over from blogspot (I really need to explore the functionalities here…. Can’t get the same ashira subdomain since it’s already been taken, plus I kinda like how I did it up already. I so like the option of being ablt to make individual posts private. Why couldn’t otterman have started us off on WordPress straight off instead of Blogger….)

(2) start an entirely new website since WordPress seems more like a website manager than a blog manager…. Given the title, I can make this a more “serious” page about the latest in ocean/coral news research etc…. with the usual smattering of posts in 日本語….. 何で時々だけ?私の日本語は本当に下手だからよ~ Main reason for a more organised approach (or least an attempt at one) is because my main ashira blog has evolved so much that it’s sooooooo messy!

Hokies. Since this is pretty much gonna be a work-in-progress, it’s gonna take more than just a little while for me to figure things out… And with the spate of lowtides and guiding coming up too!