Alien vs. Moray Eel

11 September 2007

I‘m listening right now to fellow Davisites Rita Mehta and Peter Wainwright on local radio, chatting about their recent Nature paper on the raptorial pharyngeal jaws of moray eels. Or if you’d rather… the ‘Alien jaws‘.

X-ray of moray eel from Mehta and Wainwright 2007

It’s an awesome bit of research, and makes those creepy Little Mermaid villains that much creepier. It’s also an excellent primer on how to get the media to recognize your research:

  • Step 1. Make an awesome discovery.
  • Step 2. Relate your discovery to a popular Sci-Fi movie.
  • Step 3. Sit back and wait for the phones to ring.

I’ll bet Aaron Rundus wishes he had titled his recent PNAS paper “Ground squirrels use an infrared signal to outwit Predator, and also, maybe, rattlesnakes.”


um…Go Aggies ?


Much more on the alien eels over at the Loom and pretty much everywhere else.

2 Responses to “Alien vs. Moray Eel”

  1. Zach Miller Says:

    I think he made a good choice. You want exposure? Relate your science to a popular movie. Even though, really, the secondary jaws of the eel (and other fishes) aren’t really like the Alien’s at all…

    Heh, maybe that new Mahakala paper should have been called “A new raptor dinosaur from Mongolia that looks a lot like the ones in Jurassic Park, only smaller.”

  2. Chelsea Says:

    That squirrel paper was so amazing! I really wanted to figure out how it related to human health so that I could write about it my last day at my internship, but I can’t spin quite that hard.

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