Narcissus' Echo

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

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.

The breakthrough came after a recent spate of strandings on the Atlantic coast of Spain when five of the huge invertebrates - one of them 12 metres long - were washed ashore in a single week on beaches on the Bay of Biscay.

One of the two males washed ashore was found to have been accidentally inseminated - backing the findings of research in previous strandings.

And scientists now believe the males had either accidentally inseminated themselves during "violent" lovemaking sessions with females or been inseminated by other males after "bumping" into them in the dark depths of the ocean.

The new discovery is reported by a team of Spanish scientists at the Institute of Marine Research in Vigo in the latest edition of the monthly magazine of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas.

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."

Fewer than 600 specimens of giant squid have been recorded around the world since the 16th century, with the majority of landings and strandings in the north-east Atlantic and off the coasts of New Zealand and Australia. The giant squid can reach up to 18 metres in length and weigh up to 900kg.

The researchers state: "For many years the race has been on to try to film a giant squid going about its business in the ocean depths, and many marine scientists are vying to get the first video footage. So far all expeditions have been unsuccessful, but a new Spanish expedition is currently being planned and maybe this time we will be lucky."

(Source)


And you thought your sex life was bad...


An excerpt from another article on giant squids:


Bus-sized giant squid filmed underwater for the first time

OGASAWARA, Japan (28 Sep 2005) -- Japanese zoologists have made the first recording of a live giant squid, one of the strangest and most elusive creatures in the world.

The size of a bus, with vast eyes and a beak, Architeuthis has long nourished myth and literature, most memorably in Jules Vernes's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, in which a squid tried to engulf the submarine Nautilus with its suckered tentacles.

Until now, the only evidence of giant squids was from dead squids that washed up on remote shores or got snagged on a long-line fish hook or from ships' crews who spotted the deep-sea denizen as it made a journey near the surface.

But almost nothing was known about where and how Architeuthis lives, feeds and reproduces.

And, given the problems of getting down to its home in the ocean depths, no-one had ever obtained pictures of a live one.

Scientists went to extreme lengths, backed by TV companies, to be the first.

. . .

In 2003, New Zealand marine biologists laid a sex trap.

They ground up some squid gonads, believing that the scent would drive male giant squids wild as the creatures migrated through New Zealand waters.

The hope was that a camera would squirt out the pureed genitals and a passing squid, driven into a sexual frenzy, would then mate with the lens - a project that some may be relieved to hear never came to fruition.


(Source)


Those Kiwis are sure wild, eh?

1 Comments:

Blogger zeenie said...

"Those Kiwis are sure wild, eh?"

Damn, i never realised. All those years living in NZ, wasted. LOL

7:09 PM  

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