Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini)
The world’s largest octopus lives on the Pacific coasts of North America and Asia. Known as the Giant Pacific Octopus, or the North Pacific Giant Octopus, it can grow as large or larger than you in its 3-5 year lifespan - its arm-span might exceed 14 ft (4.3 m).
They typically live at depths of around 215 feet (65 m), and use their suckers to catch smaller invertebrates and fish, though they’ve been known to take larger prey such as the small shark Spiny Dogfish, Squalus acanthias.
The species is semelparous - that is, they reproduce only once and then die, much like Pacific salmon. Females lay up to 100,000 eggs, which are fertilized by the male’s spermataphore, a “package” of sperm that can be up to 3.3 ft (1 m) long. The females guard their eggs until they hatch; they stop hunting and eventually die of starvation.
Octopuses are commonly considered the most intelligent of invertebrates; captive individuals have demonstrated the ability to problem-solve, such as learning to twist the lid off a screw-top jar to get at food inside.
photo by canopic on Flickr
(via:Peterson Field Guides)
photo by Alan Lo
Sharks Do Get Cancer: Tumor Found in Great White
Scientists have known for more than 150 years that sharks get cancer. And yet the belief persists that the animals don’t suffer from the disease.
That misconception is promoted in part by those who sell shark cartilage, who claim that the substance will help cure cancer, said David Shiffman, a shark researcher and doctoral student at the University of Miami. But no studies have shown that shark cartilage is an effective treatment, and the demand for the material has helped decimate shark populations, researchers say: Humans kill about 100 million sharks per year, according to a March 2013 study (although many factors contribute to the killing of sharks, including demand for shark-fin soup).
Recently, researchers in Australia noticed a large tumor protruding from the mouth of a great white shark, as well as another mass on the head of a bronze whaler shark. The great white’s tumor measured 1 foot (30 centimeters) long and 1 foot wide, according to a study describing the tumors published online in November in the Journal of Fish Diseases.
"This was a very unusual sight as we have never before seen a [great] white shark with tumors," said Rachel Robbins, a study co-author and shark biologist at the Fox Shark Research Foundation, near Adelaide, in southern Australia. [Image Gallery: Great White Sharks]
In total, scientists have now documented tumors in at least 23 species of sharks, including the two in the new study, Robbins said. “The main take-home message from the study is that it adds to the growing evidence of tumor formation in sharks, contrary to popular belief that sharks do not suffer from such anomalies,” Robbins told LiveScience.
"Sharks get cancer," said Shiffman, who wasn’t involved in the study. "Even if they didn’t get cancer, eating shark products won’t cure cancer any more than me eating Michael Jordan would make me better at basketball."
The belief that shark cartilage can treat cancer diverts patients from effective treatments, according to a 2004 review in the journal Cancer Research. The demand for cartilage also fuels widespread fishing for sharks. One in six known species of sharks, rays and skates are considered threatened with extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, an environmental group, Shiffman said.
It’s unknown what caused the tumors in the great white or bronzer shark. However, reports of cancerous tumors in marine animals, especially mammals, have steadily increased over the past 20 years, raising concerns that industrial pollutants or human activities may trigger the cancers, according to the study. Beluga whales have been recorded to suffer from cancer, and in areas near aluminum smelting plants, cancer is the second leading killer of the whales, the study noted. (source)
when meat eaters are like “vegetarians/vegans are further exploiting workers who pick their crops” you fucking eat those crops as well why are you dragging out these people as an argument when you clearly don’t give a shit about them at any other point
They don’t care about farm laborers and they especially don’t care about slaughter house workers.