Friday, April 17, 2009

Venomous Cephalopods

Look, I knew the blue-ringed octopus was venomous. I could deal with that. I mean, even if you count all their tentacles, humans probably still outnumber them. At the very least, we could beat them in a game of rock paper scissors. But now comes word that all octopi are venomous. And so are all cuttlefish! And some squid! Run for your lives! (Or swim, as the case may be.) True, the blue-ringed octopus is the only one of its disgusting kind that's dangerous to humans. And also true that by studying the properties of cephalopod venom, we can potentially develop better medicines for pain management, allergies, and even cancer. But the fact remains that these squishy beasts could at any minute combine their deadly proteins into a single stream of murderous molasses! Assuming, that is, they can get close enough together to combine their venom shooters. And even if they could, the loud, wet slapping sounds would probably tip us off well in advance. More details here.

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