Real men (and women) recycle

“I haven’t seen anything like this before” said a scientist, but then maybe he doesn’t get out much…

“They do have very very complicated biology” said a scientist.

A sea slug that is able to detach, re-grow and then re-use its penis has surprised scientists.



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12 Replies to “Real men (and women) recycle”

  1. There is a penguin that recycles it's stomach lining too, although I forget which one! Chinstrap I think.
    So nothing is really new in nature.......all recycled in some way or other, including us!

  2. What with this post and yesterday's rash of asteroid and meteors (not only Russia but also Cuba and California), I'm fully expecting Brian Cox to comment here (in a slightly treacly, wistful manner perhaps) or for that matter, Moby to do the same... and remind us that indeed, we are all made of (recycled) stars...

    But if we are to talk of recycling genitalia, the barnacle takes the crown I always thought.
    Not only for growing a new *cough* member each year, but also (as far as I remember from my student days) being the most "well-endowed" animal on the planet. (I think your average barnacle wanger is over 5 times its entire body length, more than that in many cases).

    1. I think you might be thinking of ostracods. Ostracods of the Superfamily Cypridoidea produce giant spermatozoa. An example is Propontocypris monstrosa that is only 0.6 mm in length, but produces spermatozoa up to 6 mm in length, 10 times its own body length. The males of this group have correspondingly large sexual organs to cope with its massive size, including two large, muscular pumps called the Zenker organs to pump the spermatozoa into the females. The entire sexual apparatus of the males can take up to half of the body. The whole spermatozoa penetrates the egg and it curls up inside the egg just below the shell. [see]. I studied these tiny organisms (with massive orgasms!) as part of my palaeoecology element of my degree course. One example was fossilised in mid-orgasm...what a way to go!

  3. Valentine's Day only 36 hrs past and we are talking about puking penguins and bonking barnacles already.

    Mrs C, who will only discuss nice things, has returned from dogwalking near Cockey Down and reports skylarks aloft. Hello clouds, hello sky ...

  4. A spine is useful too, then they could stand up & be counted?

    If the 'nodding dogs' and 'lapdogs' got rabies or TB then bit their senior colleagues then they might get infected with real pashion as well as pragmatic environmental conservation?


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