Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Giant squid sex

Weird sex: Giant squid do it deeper

VIGO, Spain (25 Sep 2005) -- RESEARCH by marine scientists has shed startling new light on the secret sex life of the giant squid, one of the most mysterious monsters of the world's deepest oceans.
I'm not sure if anyone thought that the sex lives of giant squid were something approaching "normal", but this is pretty bizarre.
"But males get round their inferior size by being endowed with a particularly long penis, which means they can inject the female without having to get too close to her chomping beak. The male's sexual organ is actually a bit like a high-pressure fire hose and is normally nearly as long as his body - excluding legs and head.

"But having such a big penis does have one drawback: it seems that co-ordinating eight legs, two feeding tentacles and a huge penis, whilst fending off an irate female, is a bit too much to ask, and one of the two males stranded on the Spanish coast had accidentally injected himself with sperm packages in the legs and body.
Yikes, I wonder if that's the cephalopod equivilent of your parents finding you sitting in your chair, pants down, strangled to death with a belt. Here's some more if you're so interested, including some slightly off-putting details of squid egg-laying.
Eggs soon funnel from her large, terminally positioned ovary into long, convoluted proximal oviducts ... The nidamental glands would then secrete vast amounts of jelly, probably almost entirely filling her mantle cavity. This jelly binds with discharging eggs, and like a cement mixer, her mantle probably rhythmically contracts and relaxes, thoroughly mixing them. Shortly afterwards this mass of jelly and egg would be extruded through her funnel, and a sphere-like egg mass of ~half-a-metre in diameter would be released. This mass would then be taken into her arms where she would cradle it as it absorbed seawater and increases in size (possibly to two-or-so metres diameter).
Ewww. I also found this picture of Japanese girls with octopi on their heads, if that's your kind of thing. Up to you.

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