Oh man. We need SQUID to tell us that ingesting sperm is a good idea? I’ve been doing that for — never. Hi dad! I have never ingested sperm. That is gross and unladylike. And if I were a southern bottletail squid, I would DEFINITELY not do it during mating to help my unfertilized eggs grow.
But according to Science World Report, all the other southern bottletail squid totally would:
Biologists have discovered that the female southern bottletail squid eats the sperm of its male counterpart during the course of mating.
Apparently other species of squid, and cephalopods like octopi and cuttlefish, have never been caught doing this before, unlike
me my friend Stacy. The research has been published in Biology Letters, a scientific journal that is decidedly less erotic than it sounds.
During the course of mating, females store sperm from males in an external pouch below their mouths. The male actually passes sperm packages into this pouch where they’re stored for later egg fertilization. Yet while some of these packages are stored, others are consumed in order to create the eggs in the first place.
Stacy always was one to rock a fanny pack.
Even if the female squid doesn’t use her sperm snack-pack to develop or fertilize her eggs, she’ll still be getting some use out of it:
The sperm storage only lasts about three weeks in the species. If the female doesn’t lay eggs within the timeframe, she’ll still gain the nutrients from males through spermatophore consumption. This means that potentially, females could be using male ejaculate as a food source.
Sperm. It’s what’s for dinner.