Wednesday, September 28, 2005

These researchers mustn't get out much...

This is an odd article... I ended up here after reading about the two Japanese researchers who have got the first film of a Giant Squid in it's natural habitat.

Not much is known about the Giant Squid, even less about it's sexual practices but this passage should enlighten you all...
The researchers state: "The giant squid, Architeuthis, is not only a cultural and media icon, but also a scientific enigma. Although it is among the largest living invertebrates ... most of our knowledge of its biology and ecology is still fragmented. So each time a giant squid is washed ashore or gets brought up in a fishing net, it provides a gold mine of information. A recent spate of strandings along the Spanish Atlantic coast has shed new light on their unique sexual behaviour in the ocean depths."

The report goes on: "Although mating has never been observed in giant squid, it is thought that what happens is that the male injects his sperm packages into the female's arms. The process is likely to be a fairly violent affair as the female is probably not that keen on being injected. This is a problem for the amorous male as females are normally a third bigger than they are.

"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. And this does not seem to have been an isolated incident since two of the eight males that had stranded in the north-east Atlantic before had also accidentally inseminated themselves.

"It is also possible that the sperm packages had come from other males that they had 'bumped' into, in the dark depths of the ocean. However, the sperm packages ended up in the squid - it is just another part of the mysterious lives of these creatures of the deep sea."

I think there is something in that for all of us...

There is also these little gems of trivia:
GIANT squid are not the only members of the natural world to display unusual sexual behaviour. In Australia, the male Yellow-footed Antechinus - a mouse-like marsupial - goes through such a frenzy of mating that they die of sexual stress. The female praying mantis often eats her partner during or after sex, while homosexual behaviour is also known in geese, ostriches, cichlid fish, rats and monkeys.

Also don't foget that our wonderful state emblem, the black swan, is also known for it's homosexual behaviour. The whole animal homosexuality thing, not that there is anything wrong with that, makes all the puritanical folk seem silly saying homosexuality can be 'trained' out of someone. It seems obvious that it may be genetic.

Weird Sex: Giant Squid Do It Deeper

1 comment:

Tom said...

Charming title to that article. Should put that onto Chris and Craig's top 5 crappy pun headlines or whatever they call their segment :)