The mating habits of deep-sea squid have been revealed for the first time, after the discovery of a male squid with a huge elongated and erect penis.
The male squid's sexual organ is almost as long as its whole body, including the squid's mantle, head and arms.
That shows how male deep-sea squid inseminate females; they use their huge penis to shoot out packages of sperm, injecting them into the female's body.
The discovery may also help explain how giant squid mate in the ocean depths.
Deep-water fisheries expert Dr Alexander Arkhipkin of the Falkland Islands Government Fisheries Department, based in Stanley, explains how he and his colleagues made the discovery, details of which are published in the Journal of Molluscan Studies.
"The mature male squid was caught during a deep-water research cruise on the Patagonian slope. We took the animal from the catch, and it was moribund with arms and tentacles still moving, and chromatophores on the skin contracting and expanding," he told the BBC.
"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."
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Enormous squid sex organ detected.
Hopefully it wasn't a Japanese schoolgirl who detected it. From BBC: