Saturday, January 28, 2006

Squid brains

First, why not liven up this page with some gratuitous squid imagery? Below are some of our freshly caught specimens.



Mine was an immature female Loligo vulgaris. Here's a shameless shot of the mouth and beak:



Here's the specimen cut through the head to show the strange arrangement of the brain and esophagus:



Now the question is, if molluscs can be made in almost every variety, from bivalves, to snails, cephalopods, and everything else in between - why must they all have their brains made in this exact same way? What is it, other than history, that makes the brain (or central ganglion in this case) of, say, a monoplacophoran arranged in the same way as the squid above, while a vertebrate has to be made in a totally different way.

Okay, enough implied polemics against ID. Enjoy the squid brain!

3 comments:

shell said...

I'm not quite sure why you think that your comment was a jab against ID...is an ID person supposed to say that all brains must be made in the same way because they all live on earth? I may be misunderstanding you...let me know.
I'm looking for information on the affects of deep sea pressure on deep sea organisms--their specific adaptations that allow them to live there. How these adaptations compare to pelagic and neretic fishes. (I hope I have all my terminology down) If you know of any, pop onto my blog and post the websites or how I could get a hold of it. Thanks so much.
Fellow bio student,
-=shell=-

shell said...

lol...didn't mean that "fellow bio student" to make me sound like I'm anywhere near your expertise...lol I'm an undergrad. I posted quickly and then was like..jee...he's a PhD student....my closing sounded odd. Anyway..just thought I'd try to correct that...but it's kind of futile. Now I just sound dumb.

I'm not worthy oh PhD student,
-=shell=- ;P

Martin Brazeau said...

shell said:
I'm not quite sure why you think that your comment was a jab against ID...is an ID person supposed to say that all brains must be made in the same way because they all live on earth?

No, I was making a little statement about exaptation as well as constraints of common ancestry. But I wasn't seriously taking a jab at them. I just wanted to point out something cool about a squid's brain.

I can't really help you with your question. I'm not really a physiologist

No problems with the 'fellow bio student' comment -- you are a fellow bio student, apparently. (even after a single year of undergrad, that makes you more qualified than most people!)