The male blanket octopus faces a significant gender imbalance - he is just two centimetres long, while the female of the species can measure up to two metres. . . .This reproductive arm, known as a hectocotylus, is tucked away in a white spherical pouch between its other arms. When males mate, the pouch ruptures, the penis injects sperm into the tip of the arm, the arm is severed, and passed to the female. It stays there until used to fertilise the female's eggs, which can be weeks later. And while the human post-orgasm is sometimes referred to as "the little death", for the male blanket octopus the term takes on literal meaning. The male dies, but the female carries on, free to have sex with more males. "It's kamikaze sex, effectively," said Dr Norman. "They've found females with up to six male arms in the gill cavity.It's old news (2003), but still so Cephalosexy. I like some of the quotes from this National Geographic article:
Imagine if your spouse was 40,000 times heavier and a hundred times larger than you. This is reality for the male blanket octopus, which was recently spotted alive for the first time off Australia's northern coast . ."Imagine a female the size of a person and the male a size of a walnut," said Tom Tregenza, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Leeds in England. . .Females have the odd appearance of a "big pink drifting blanket" said Tregenza, explaining the origins of the octopus's name.. . Such expeditions involve taking a boat to sea on moonless nights and suspending a diver up to 20 meters (66 feet) into the pitch-black water. The researchers then waited in the eerie silence and used torches as light sources in the hope of attracting interesting passers-by, said Tregenza..The last bit sounds like they were actually hazing a young marine biologist who happened to get lucky! In more current Octopus news, Oregon State University has an opening for a charismatic midsize octopus to greet visitors.
Spring 2006: Guest Bloggers!
Rishi | Scott | Emily
Echan | Robert | ToastyKen