05 December 2005

Worth a trip to the library

"Composition, morphology and mechanics of hagfish slime" by Douglas S. Fudge and colleagues has just been published in The Journal of Experimental Biology. Volume 208, pages 4627-4639, to be precise. You can read the summary of this research here. Because didn't we all get into biology for the slime?

The authors conclude:

These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the slime has evolved as a defense against gill-breathing predators.

To which I’m tempted to amend to, “... a defense against gill-breathing, or really squeamish, predators.”

I can just picture some shark taking a run at a hagfish and going, “EeeewwWWwww! Ick!”

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