This Week in the Mercury


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Love When Science Involves "Rocket Sperm"

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 11:14 AM

This article about the sex lives of deep sea squid gets crazier and crazier the more of it you read:

Squid sex facts revealed!
• The squid, Octopoteuthis deletron, don't discriminate between squid-sexes when mating. Because they live solitary lives in the dark, the male squid take their chances by shooting their rocket sperm at passing squids.

• Ahem:

Little is known about the details but it seems that the male ejaculates a packet of sperm at the mating partner, and the packet turns inside out, essentially shooting the sperm contained in a membrane into the flesh of the partner, where they stay embedded until the female (if the shooter has been lucky) is ready to fertilize its eggs. If males are the recipient of these rocket sperm, they are just stuck with them. It is the kind of mating that would make a good video game.

• The caption accompanying this squid photo reads, "The white dots on this female Octopoteuthis deletron are embedded sperm."

21squid_inline-popup.jpg

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