In a curious case of coincidence, a few days ago I was looking at the winning photographs from this year's International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge (there's a snappy title for you) photography competition. And I remembered seeing this shot:
These curious little Audrey IIs are, in fact, suckers found on the tentacles of a long-finned squid. Each sucker -about 400 micrometres wide, or a little smaller than the width of a human hair - is surrounded with 'fangs' of chitin, the hard organic material that insect skeletons are made from. It just goes to show that no matter how hard we try to imagine what aliens could be like, life here on our own small planet can be just as bizarre and surprising.
Sleep well, Levi.