RSS Nudibranch discovered with detachable and regenerative penis

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 15 Feb 2013.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

    8 May 2007
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    For all of you cringing at the title, it gets better. We don’t think any man could fathom losing his penis after mating, yet one amazing nudibranch not only loses the organ after mating, but can grow it back 24-hours later to mate again.

    A Japanese research team discovered the nudibranch Chromodoris reticulata loses its appendage after mating and can regrow it in a relatively quick time period to do it again. According to the research, nudibranches are simultaneous hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female organs not only can fertilize each other, but can be fertilized back at the same time.

    The researchers, led by Ayami Sekizawa, a biologist at Osaka City University, collected 31 pairs of Chromodoris reticulate from coral reefs off Okinawa, Japan. After careful observation, the animals would mate, lose the organ and then regrow it to do it again.

    Chromodoris reticulata may compensate for the short-term cost of decreased reproductive opportunities caused by the loss of a penis with the reproductive advantage gained by sperm displacement under severe sperm competition,” the team conclude.

    The scientists suggest the detachable penis may be used to remove sperm from a mating partner that may been left by a rival. The researchers said DNA testing is needed to determine whether sperm found on the spines of the penis is that of a rival, or whether it is excess sperm pushed out by the recipient.

    Besides an initial cringe, the story made us think back 20 years to this King Missile song:

    [via New Zealand Herald]
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