Scientists Tell Octopus Species Apart by Counting Their Warts

NOAA
NOAA

As kids, we were taught that it’s impolite to stare. It’s a good thing not everybody listened. Researchers peering at adorable, pudgy deep-sea octopuses say the placement and number of their warts could be a way of differentiating two very similar-looking species. They published their findings in the journal Marine Biology Research.

Graneledone verrucosa, pictured above, and Graneledone pacifica, pictured below, have an awful lot in common.

A small pink octopus on the sea floor near coral.
NOAA

They live deep in the sea, sometimes chilling as far down as 9500 feet into the blackness. They’re My Little Pony–colored, big-eyed, and cute as dumplings. And they’re warty as heck.

Previous studies have suggested that these lumps could help distinguish one Graneledone species from another, but deep-sea critters are tricky and expensive to find and collect. The scarcity of specimens has made the wart hypothesis difficult to confirm.

And that’s where museum collections come in. Lead author Janet Voight is associate curator of invertebrates at The Field Museum in Chicago. She and her co-author, Jessica Kurth of Pennsylvania State University, examined 72 different squishy specimens, carefully noting the placement, size, and quantity of each animal’s warts.

“Nobody has sat down with dozens of these octopuses and compared them,” Voight said in a statement. “There are so many things like that in museum collections, just waiting for the right scientist to come along and use the information they offer."

The researchers’ octopus ogling paid off: They found clear, if subtle, differences in the two species’ lump-scapes. G. pacifica was wartier, with more bumps running down its arms and mantle than its cousin has.

The study shows the importance of having multiple specimens to compare, Voight says. "If you only have two individuals, you don't know what's important and what's not—it'd be like meeting a person with blonde hair and a person with brown hair and concluding that they must be different species."

It also illustrates how little we know about animals in the deep sea. "This study should make future octopus analysis easier and more rigorous," Voight says. "I’d be happy if that happened.”

Swear Off Toilet Paper With This Bidet Toilet Seat That's Easy to Install and Costs Less Than $100

Tushy
Tushy

The recent coronavirus-related toilet paper shortage has put the spotlight on the TP-less alternative that Americans have yet to truly embrace: the bidet.

It's not exactly a secret that toilet paper is wasteful—it's estimated to cost 437 billion gallons of water and 15 million trees to produce our yearly supply of the stuff. But while the numbers are plain to see, bidets still aren't common in the United States.

Well, if price was ever the biggest barrier standing in the way of swearing off toilet paper for good, there's now a cost-effective way to make the switch. Right now, you can get the space-saving Tushy bidet for less than $100. And you'll be able to install it yourself in just 10 minutes.

What is a Bidet?

Before we go any further, let’s just go ahead and get the awkward technical details out of the way. Instead of using toilet paper after going to the bathroom, bidets get you clean by using a stream of concentrated water that comes out of a faucet or nozzle. Traditional bidets look like weird toilets without tanks or lids, and while they’re pretty uncommon in the United States, you’ve definitely seen one if you’ve ever been to Europe or Asia.

That said, bidets aren’t just good for your butt. When you reduce toilet paper usage, you also reduce the amount of chemicals and emissions required to produce it, which is good for the environment. At the same time, you’re also saving money. So this is a huge win-win.

Unfortunately, traditional bidets are not an option for most Americans because they take up a lot of bathroom space and require extra plumbing. That’s where Tushy comes in.

The Tushy Classic Bidet Toilet Seat.

Unlike traditional bidets, the Tushy bidet doesn’t take up any extra space in your bathroom. It’s an attachment for your existing toilet that places an adjustable self-cleaning nozzle at the back of the bowl, just underneath the seat. But it doesn’t require any additional plumbing or electricity. All you have to do is remove the seat from your toilet, connect the Tushy to the clean water supply behind the toilet, and replace the seat on top of the Tushy attachment.

The Tushy has a control panel that lets you adjust the angle and pressure of the water stream for a perfect custom clean. The nozzle lowers when the Tushy is activated and retracts into its housing when not in use, keeping it clean and sanitary.

Like all bidets, the Tushy system takes a little getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to use toilet paper again. In fact, Tushy is so sure you’ll love their product, they offer customers a 60-day risk-free guarantee. If you don’t love your Tushy, you can send it back for a full refund, minus shipping and handling.

Normally, the Tushy Classic retails for $109, but right now you can get the Tushy Classic for just $89. So if you’ve been thinking about going TP-free, now is definitely the time to do it.

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Do Dogs Get Headaches?

Even without raging benders, dogs might still get headaches.
Even without raging benders, dogs might still get headaches.
damedeeso/iStock via Getty Images

Like babies, dogs can be hard to read in the medical ailment department. Are they listless because they’re tired, or because they’re sick? What’s behind their whining? And can they suffer that most human of debilitating conditions, the headache?

Gizmodo polled several veterinarians and animal behavior specialists to find out, and the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

Although a dog can’t express discomfort in a specific way, particularly if it doesn’t involve limping, animal experts know that canines that have diagnosed brain tumors or encephalitis can also be observed to have a high heart rate, a sign of physical pain. According to Tim Bentley, an associate professor of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery at Purdue Veterinary Medicine, administering painkillers will bring a dog’s heart rate down. If signs of physical distress also decrease, a headache was likely involved.

Unfortunately, not all dogs may offer overt signals they’re feeling some brain pain. According to Adam Boyko, an associate professor of biomedical sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, dogs instinctively try to mask pain to avoid showing weakness.

Ultimately, dogs have many of the same central neural pathways as humans, which can likely go awry in some of the same ways. But the kind of persistent headaches owing to head colds or hangovers are probably rare in dogs. And while it goes without saying, they definitely don't need any of your Advil.

[h/t Gizmodo]