Saturday, April 18, 2009

More Real Life Cthulhu Science

Ivan Amato, Newscripts, Chemical and Engineering News, March 30, 2009, p.64

At the HPLblog we bring cutting edge Real-Life Cthulhu science as it happens. Chrispy is of the opinion that while Cthulhu may be a creature of exotic dark energy, upon his arrival to and just before he fell to sleep under the Earth’s surface millions of years ago, he looked about and saw and admired the elegant intelligent cephalopod, and immediately adopted that form. Therefore the more we know of these mysterious creatures, the more we shall understand of the wisdom and madness of dread Cthulhu.

{Just} as kids love candy, … giant squid, octopods, and other deep-sea cephaopodsike to stuff … their beaks ... {but} the only thing that remains … in whale’s stomachs are chitinized beaks. A French research team … with a cache of beaks from nearly 20 cephalod species retrieved from the stomachs of htree sperm whale s that had become stranded in the Bay of Biscay in 2001. The scientists from the National Center for Scientific Research and the Universit of La Rochelle used a high-end mass spectrometer {a device that blasts apart molecules, scans them, and compares the residue to known molecular and ionic structures thus determining what unknown elements are present in a compound}. The measured 13C and 15N indicators of {whether the food in their beaks was of deep sea or surface origin}.

In a recent Biology Letters the scientists indicated that the squids and octopods {had been eating} in deep oceanic beds, not along the continental shelf. The species spanned 1.5 trophic levels similar to dolphins {and whales}. The giant squid, Taningia dinae, is an aggressive top {of the food chain} predator. The giant octopus, Haliphron atlanticus, dwells higher in the water column, and is eaten more often.

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