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The Dish on Science: If Squids Could Talk by Diana Li

view from squid cam
Humboldt squids many times, but this is the first time that one has seen her (on left in hat). Photo from Crittercam video by National Geographic Remote Imaging.
Apr 12 2017

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If you could have any superpower, what would it be? I can’t decide between invisibility and knowing what filling is inside a pastry without having to open it. But Dr. Hannah Rosen, who completed her Ph.D. at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station (HMS) knows exactly what she’d choose the ability to talk to animals. We may never truly know what animals are thinking and saying, but scientists like Rosen are working to crack the animal communication code. This is a particularly challenging pursuit for animals that don’t emit any sound and don’t live in a place that’s easy to observe. The Humboldt squid, which lives in the open ocean, unfortunately falls into both categories, but that didn’t deter Rosen and colleagues at HMS and National Geographic. In a study published in 2015, the research team stepped up to the challenge and aimed to figure out the latest gossip among Humboldt squids in their natural oceanic habitat.