PHOTOS: Best Science Images of 2008 Announced

PHOTOS: Best Science Images of 2008
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Honorable Mention, Photography: "Squid Suckers: The Little Monsters That Feed the Beast"

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.
—Image courtesy Jessica D. Schiffman and Caroline L. Schauer; Drexel University/Science
 
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