Thursday, May 15, 2008

Science Thursday

Today, a nifty tidbit about the mantis shrimp. 400 or so species within the order Stomatopoda are known, but researchers working on specimens from the Great Barrier Reef have discovered that one variety, the technocolored Gonodactylus smithii, have the ability to see a complete range of polarized light no other creature on the planet can, effectively opening up an entire world to them that is invisible to the rest of us.

Is that four linear and two circular polarizations,
or are you just happy to see me?

Sharp-eyed, gutter-minded readers will likely notice that the order name "Stomatopoda" means "mouth-footed" and genus "Gonodactylus" means "genital-fingered." I can't be the only one here having visions of thumb-wrestling with that special someone whilst strolling barefoot across a field blooming with chocolate chips and Twinkies. And the occasional stretch of neatly manicured pad thai lawn.


Damien said...

No, no you're indeed! Mmmm...pad thai :) With neon shrimp!

Jeff said...

Don't make me send you to your room, missy!