For the sea slug Chromodoris reticulata the penis is a disposable and replaceable instrument
Like almost all nudibranchs, Chromodoris reticulata (Chromodorididae), is a non-selfing, simultaneously hermaphroditic sea slug. In this species partners perform both the ‘male role’ of donating sperm to a mating partner and the ‘female role’ of receiving sperm from the partner simultaneously during copulation.
What’s unique about this species native to the Indo- Pacific, at least while the reproductive biology of other nudibranchs is studied, is the fact that Chromodoris reticulata is able to autotomize its penis after copulation and regrow another penis to copulate again within a day.
Once copulation has ended, both individuals crawl with their elongated penises remaining outside the body, and then they autotomize and discard them. Behavioral observations revealed that approximately 24 h after the previous copulation C. reticulata is able to copulate reciprocally for at least three more times. This is due to that penis has a spiral structure that is believed plays an important role in the autotomy and replenishment. So, a ‘next penis’ is available after 24 h for a new copulation.
Cool, don’t you think?
The Saiga lives in the Great Steppe of Eurasia, home of Attila the Hun and Gengis Khan.
These nomadic beasts divide their time between summer and wintering grounds, but their extraordinary schnoz is useful all year round.
In the dry, dusty summers, the nose helps filter out dust from the air. In the cold winter it serves to warm up the air before they breathe it in.
During the winter, males stop eating and spend all their time fighting over mates. Up to 97% of them may die out of sheer exhaustion!
I really need to learn how to embed videos from ARKive, because there is an amazing video of a Shoebill hunting Lungfish that really looks like the Lungfish version of Godzilla. Watch it, you won’t be disappointed.
Image by Pat Flanigan
The deceptive and tricky Ant-mimicking Crab-spider
There is no doubt that certain species of spiders are quite deceptive and tricky. This is the case of Aphantochilus rogersi (top photo), a neotropical carb-spider in the Thomisidae Family, that convincingly mimics its prey, the turtle ant Cephalotes atratus (middle and bottom photos) or also Zacryptocerus pusillus.
These spiders do not just mimic the appearance of the ant, but also oviposit in close proximity to nests of the model ant. As if that were not enough, Aphantochilus rogersi also has an specialized hunting behavior, this spider uses the bitten and paralyzed ant as a shield, presumably protecting it from attacks by living ants.
So, just in case, the next time you see an ant …. You better count how many legs it has.
what the actual fuck