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