Here's looking at you, squid
[SIZE=-1]The Age, Australia - May 3, 2008[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]So the chance to examine it — and to dissect some giant squid at the same time — attracted the world's leading cephalopod experts. ...[/SIZE]
Amazing, Thornton McCamish did a super job recapping!
I particularly like this thought as I mentioned it myself while watching:
For three days I'd been half-expecting the tremendous creature to thaw out in a terrible way and come to life, from a cryogenic slumber, like Walt Disney with tentacles. Even the scientists could see the horror-movie angle. "I could have sworn those eyes were shining," said one, after he'd taken a close look. "And just the way the head was sitting … If you were worried about it coming to life, you probably should be."
I agree that that's by far the best popular press article I've seen. I think it also taps into what most mainstream science reporting doesn't quite seem to get: that there are a lot of people who, while not experts, don't want to have pre-digested science of "tractor tire calamari" and "beach ball sized eyes," they(we) may not be able to recognize the details, but can watch and appreciate as scientists get up to their elbows in squid guts, and are happy to hear the what and why of what's interesting about these animals, like Kat explaining that Mesonychoteuthis is anatomically classified with the Cranchiids because of the mantle/head fusion... and perhaps the "on the fly" issues like "there is an unexpected layer of transparent, gelatinous skin on the mantle" which, even for people who don't know a cranchiid from a loligo, can be interesting from a "see, this might be telling about their relation to the smaller transparent glass squids."
Similarly, I was looking at the news coverage of the sequencing of the platypus genome today, and was struck by how many outlets covered it from a "those crazy mixed-up platypuses" direction. Impressively, though, Nature, which usually keeps its content locked away for non-subscribers, actually has their overview and explanation and an accessible yet detailed video on the subject. (Aside: as much as platypus would be high on my list for sequencing candidates, where are all the cephalopod genome projects?!?)