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Sea slug’s disposable dong a wonder of the animal kingdom

sea slug

Plenty of people would prefer to leave any trace of an ill-conceived sexual encounter behind them, but very few species leave their tools.

The Chromodoris reticulate is that rare exception.

Of course, when one is having sex with a new partner every twenty-four hours, having the ability to sprout a new schlong could have its benefits, especially in such a promiscuous population, but, hey, we’re not here to judge.

This odd discovery was made when researcher Ayami Sekizawa and a team from Osaka City University spent some quality time observing specimens they’d picked up on a scuba dive, and no group scoping for babes on the beach could beat the show they got.

These animals are “simultaneous hermaphrodites,” meaning each performs both the “male role” of donating sperm to a mating partner and the “female role” of receiving sperm from the partner simultaneously during copulation.

A typical mating episode involves two individuals touching each other with their genital orifices. They then “project” their penises and each insert them into the other’s vagina and start copulation. After a short time, one removes its penis from the partner. Later, the other mate removes its penis too.

Both individuals then crawl away, with their elongated penises still dangling. The sexual organs, which feature backward-pointed spines for possibly trapping rival sperm, would then suddenly sever from their bodies and float away.

Nothing like a story with a happy beginning, middle and ending just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Full story at Discovery News.

Weird science.

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