Twelve Months, Eight Arms, Three Butts

By Elizabeth Preston | December 29, 2017 11:11 am

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It’s the end of the year and we’re still swimming! So Inkfish is taking a moment to reflect on 2017 and enumerate some noteworthy posts. Don’t worry—it won’t take long, since octopuses can only count to eight.

Most unexpectedly popular post:

Agar Art Contest Winners Grow Masterpieces with Microbes. People like microbial art? Noted. Does anyone want to come scrub my shower?

Most popular post:

Beluga Living with Dolphins Swaps Her Call for Theirs. Relatedly, the ACTUAL most-popular item this year was a post from 2012 about a beluga imitating a human, which I linked back to in the newer post. (This reminds me of a former boss who said that putting out a magazine is like building a car every month and driving it off a cliff, which is a very poor analogy, but his point that old content can still be valuable was true.)

Least loved post:

Boo! Lost Salamander Reappears, Dressed for Halloween. Was the holiday tie-in a turnoff? This little bub is so cute! The species was missing for four decades before a security guard rediscovered it! Whatever; I still like this story.

Most niche topic:

The Snail That Only Lives in a Hole inside Another Hole under a Sea Urchin.

Number of times butts appeared in headlines:

Only three, you guys. I’m maturing?

Grossest post:

Worms Eat Impenetrable Sea Urchins by Crawling into Their Mouths. This finding is both fascinating and ecologically important, but I didn’t share the video with you all because it is legit nightmare fuel.

Cutest post:

Why Some Bird Babies Ride Piggyback. Ducklings follow their parents around, but other waterbirds carry their babies in a snuggly heap on their backs, and it’s adorable. (Runner-up: Stuffed Animals Help Scientists Learn How Sea Lion Moms Recognize Their Babies. This was in the lead until one of the stuffed sea lions got murdered.)

Posts with inkfish:

This Squid Gives Better Side-Eye Than You: why do cockeyed squid have mismatched eyeballs? Also, Dead Squid Moms Are a Gift to the Ocean Floor.

What do you want to see more of next year? Do you have a favorite post that didn’t make an appearance here? Leave a comment and let me know. Or just say hi and balance out the climate trolls. Thanks for swimming along!

 


Image: by Jeff (via Flickr)

MORE ABOUT: Animals, Ocean
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  • Dave Witt

    Hi Elizabeth keep doing what you’re doing – love your writing never miss an episode. Happy new year!

  • OWilson

    Thanks for the informative articles, that never fail to stimulate the senses.

    Happy New Year!

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Inkfish

Like the wily and many-armed cephalopod, Inkfish reaches into the far corners of science news and brings you back surprises (and the occasional sea creature). The ink is virtual but the research is real.

About Elizabeth Preston

Elizabeth Preston is a science writer whose articles have appeared in publications including Slate, Nautilus, and National Geographic. She's also the former editor of the children's science magazine Muse, where she still writes in the voice of a know-it-all bovine. She lives in Massachusetts. Read more and see her other writing here.

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