Sex life of the squid
Aristotle and the sex
life of squid
Cephalopod P0rn by Hokusai
In intelligence, the
Squid and the Octopus far outclass not merely all other members of the
mollusc phylum (e.g., clams and oysters -- no surprise there), but all other
invertebrates. They have impressive problem-solving abilities and, according
to some, a playful sense of humor. They are among the kinkier creatures,
mating violently and without concern for the exact gender or species of the
cephalopod they are hot for. (This story used to be on the internet, but it
has been censored)
Cephalopod eyes are
very similiar to mammalian eyes, and in some respects superior since they
have no blind spot. Their thick
nerves give them the quickest reaction time of any species. Their blood is
blue -- see my hemoglobin
piece. The biggest squid on record are more than
60 feet long, but there are almost certainly bigger ones in the deep.
Whaling is good for
squid, since their main natural enemy is the sperm whale, and their numbers
have exploded as whaling has decimated the whole population. Except for me,
however, they have few advocates, even though their eyes are bigger and
seemingly more affectionate than the cruel, beady eyes of the murderous
sperm whale. Greenpeace is no friend of the squid, and one of these days we
can expect to hear that some of the Rainbow Warrior mercenaries have
gone to their final reward,
trapped by the hooked tentacles of a
Colossal Squid and torn to pieces by its dual beaks.
I succeeded in becoming the #1 Google for "Sex
Life of the Squid" without actually posting anything about the sex
life of the squid.
The real place to go to for this kind of thing is
Pharyngula -- the project of a biology teacher who happens to
work about forty miles from where I grew up. Pharyngula is a
general-purpose biology blog, which gives considerable attention
to the politics of evolution and "intelligent design".
What is the plural of
Pharyngula -- octopus sex. Octopuses are promiscuous and
bisexual, and the female sometimes eats the male afterwards.
scoop on squid sex -- they do it "manually" with their
mating, and jealousy
Cuttlefish guys pretend to be girls in order to get close to
real girls being guarded by jealous husbands. (Cuttlefish are
closely related to squid).
And here's something on
tentacle rape in human fantasy -- not terribly
unrealistic, given the actual facts about cephalopod sex.
specializes in squid and other sea creatures.
This link shows cephalopods' astonishing ability to mimic
their surroundings for purposes of camouflage. Not only can they
match the background color, but on a rippling background, octopi
can ripple. Or they can scare off predators by changing their
shape to look frightening.
Below is a graphic version of a squid catching
a shrimp, stolen from comment #11
Note that the squid's two attacking arms move forward, while the
other eight arms curl back for body English. (A full scientific
analysis of this sequence is in
Fluorescent vampire squid
taking over the world
record for keeping squid alive in captivity is is 120 days, -- however,
the link just above says that squid are live-fast-die-young types and
rarely live longer than 200 days.
giant squid captured
Some good links
Evolutionary relationships of the cephalopods (squid, octopi, etc.) in the
More on the evolutionary relationships of the cephalopods
Hox genes in squid
Mystery octopus in Wisconsin
All original material copyright John J.