Secrets of the Vampire Squid | Summary and Q&A

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November 2, 2012
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Secrets of the Vampire Squid

TL;DR

Biologists discover new information about the vampire squid's eating habits, an elephant in a South Korean zoo can imitate human speech, and smoking and fatty foods have negative health effects that can be passed down to future generations.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the vampire squid's diet?

The vampire squid feeds on marine snow, which is a mixture of dead bodies, poop, and snot that sinks to the deep sea. Unlike true squid and octopi, it does not eat live prey.

Q: Can an elephant really speak?

While an elephant in a South Korean zoo has been found to imitate human speech, it does not understand the meaning of the words it uses. It has picked up this ability from spending its life around humans.

Q: How does smoking affect future generations?

Research conducted on rats shows that exposure to nicotine during pregnancy can lead to decreased lung function and asthma in offspring. These effects can persist for at least two generations, even if the subsequent generations are not directly exposed to nicotine.

Q: What are the immediate effects of eating fatty foods?

A study found that consuming a high-fat breakfast can lead to a temporary drop in blood flow in the extremities. This shows how quickly fat can build up in the blood and create negative health effects.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Biologists have learned that the vampire squid feeds on "marine snow," a mixture of dead bodies, poop, and snot that sinks to the deep sea.

  • An elephant in a South Korean zoo has been found to imitate human speech, but does not understand the meaning of the words it uses.

  • Smoking can have negative consequences for the smoker's children and grandchildren, causing decreased lung function and asthma.

  • Eating fatty foods can immediately affect blood flow, causing a drop in circulation and potentially negative health effects.

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