The ‘disposable penis’ surprises scientists
February 13, 2013
The sea slug is able to separate, grow again and then reuse its penis.
Japanese researchers, surprised, looked at the strange mating in a species called Chromodoris reticulata, located in the Pacific Ocean and considered that “it is the first known creature that can copulate repeatedly” with what was described as a ‘disposable penis’.
The study was published in Biology Letters, the journal of the Royal Society of UK.
The sex life of sea slug is complicated even before the game from entering removable organs. It is believed that most of these creatures, which are also known as sea slugs, are ‘simultaneous hermaphrodites’. This means they have male and female sex organs and can use both at the same time.
The Japanese team was watching sea slugs collected from shallow coral reefs in Japan. So they could see these species mating on 31 occasions.
The event lasted from a few seconds to a few minutes, after which the creatures were removed and stripped of its penises; they left in the tank floor.
However, researchers were surprised to find that only 24 hours later, sea slugs had regenerated their male organs and were ready to mate again.
Further examination of the anatomy of the animals revealed that slugs were a big part of his penis wrapped in a spiral inside their bodies, which then would use to replace the missing part.
The scientists also noticed that penises were also fitted with thorns.