Researchers Observe Same-Sex Sexual Behavior in Deep Sea Squid

Octopoteuthis deletron

Octopoteuthis deletron, a species of deep sea squid, engages in same-sex sexual behavior according to a new research paper by Hendrik J. T. Hoving and fellow researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. The researchers found evidence that male squid were attempting to mate with males with the same frequency they mated with females. The researchers theorize the behavior is the equivalent of a “shoot first, ask questions later” policy:

The researchers think that male squid may mate with any member of their species they encounter, which helps these rare animals take advantage of any possible chance to reproduce. Co-author Bruce Robison explains, “This is a solitary species that is not very abundant; it lives in deep, dark waters where opportunities for reproduction are few and far between. In response to that challenge, this reproductive strategy ensures that no opportunity for successful mating is lost. It’s kind of like buying a Lotto ticket, except the odds are much better.”

Thanks to Violet Blue for the tip!

photo via Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

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