Sunday, 11 July 2010

Super Squid Sex Organ Discovered - BBC

Sexy, sexy squid. You know, I had a stuffed toy squid when I was younger, and my mom always told me it was gross because it looked like a giant penis.


The penis of a male squid is just about as long as it's entire body. Schwingggg.

"Male O. ingens with erect penis and ejaculated spermatophores on table (penis is white tubular structure in lower half of the picture)"
photo credit BBC via A. Arkhipkin

Dr Alexander Arkhipkin of the Falkland Islands Government Fisheries Department, says:

"When the mantle of the squid was opened for maturity assessment, we witnessed an unusual event. The penis of the squid, which had extended only slightly over the mantle margin, suddenly started to erect, and elongated quickly to 67cm total length, almost the same length as the whole animal."

I guess he liked to be "explored," if you know what I mean. Oh god, I can't help myself with this entry. This is golden.

On a serious note, though, this...experience...shed light onto the mating habits of deep-sea squid, which were previously unknown. Cephalopods - the order which squid belong to, along with octopus and cuttlefish - are physically hindered by the design of their bodies when it comes to mating. Scientists have discovered that shallow-water cephalopods have evolved a special arm to aid them in the mating process, where a packet of sperm can be delivered into a receptive female.

"They have short penises which produce packets of sperm, called spermatophores, then one of their eight limbs is modified to transfer this sperm to special receptacles on the female."

But male deep-sea squid do not have this special arm. It was thought that sperm was directly injected into a female, but no one knew how.

""Obviously a strongly elongated penis is the solution," says Dr Arkhipkin."

Full article here (BBC)

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