Friday, July 17, 2009

Humboldt squid

My sister and her family were here in Florida for a visit last week, as was my friend Cris. Cris encountered a black racer snake that leapt out of a planter and my brother-in-law became a landing pad for a giant grasshopper called a "lubber" - both creatures are harmless to humans, but startling nonetheless!
Meanwhile, on the West Coast, large numbers of giant squid up to 4' long have invaded the waters and washed up on the beach of La Jolla, California. The cause was initially blamed on an underwater earthquake, but the squid may be disoriented by a change in the temperature of the water or may have swum too close to shore in search of food. Divers are warned to be wary of being tugged down by the inquisitive creatures or bitten with their parrot-like beaks. The mass strandings of the Humboldt squid are not new - they also occurred in 2002 (pictured), 2005, and 2007 - but still have marine biologists puzzled.


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