After mating for up to three hours, the southern dumpling squid is often too tired to swim for up to 30 minutes afterwards.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne studied dumpling squid that live in waters of Southern Australia and grow to about 7 cm (almost 3 inches) long as adults. Dumpling squid engage in up to three hours of mating that is seemingly initiated by males whenever the opportunity arises. The male grabs the female from underneath, and holds her in place throughout copulation.
The team was keen to understand the impact of such an extensive mating ritual because although traditionally thought to be trivial, the energetic costs of mating could reduce an animal’s survival if it decreased the ability to avoid predators and forage for food.
Full story at Futurity.
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Photo credit: Mark Norman, University of Melbourne