Best Science Images of 2008: Squid Suckers!

"Squid Suckers: The Little Monster That Feed the Beast," by Jessica D. Schiffman and Caroline L. Schauer / Drexel University/Science, Honorable Mention

Every year the National Science Foundation and the journal Science pick the best images taken with advanced technology (like electron microscopes) to convey images to scientific concepts. These photos are always stunning, and this year's photos are no different.

This one above is a close up of squid suckers:

Little Shop of Horrors fans may see a resemblance to the bloodthirsty plant from the 1986 movie in the above electron micrograph image.

Drexel University doctoral student Jessica Schiffman won an honorable mention in photography in the 2008 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge for capturing what's actually an array of suckers found on the tentacles of a long-finned squid.

Each sucker--about 400 micrometers wide, or a little smaller than the width of a human hair--is surrounded with "fangs" of chitin, a hard organic material.

Squid use their powerful suckers to secure unwitting prey and feed their robust appetites--much like the horror-movie plant that inspired the image's color scheme.

Here are the winners of the Best Science images of 2008 at National Geographic: Link - Thanks Marilyn Terrell!

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