If you have tentacles, watch out, male deep-sea squid will pounce on you!
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has recorded 2 decades worth of deep-sea squid mating footage. And what they’ve come to acknowledge is that male squid don’t have an issue with mating with both female and male partners. Bisexual squids? Not necessarily..
This same-sex sex isn’t the first we’ve seen in squid- but it’s the first time that it has been as common as male-female sex. Out of 108 squid caught on camera- 39 of them have been identified as male or female- with 19 females and 20 males. Of these 19- 10 females and 9 males showed evidence of mating. The scientists determined that the male squid were trying to mate equally with both sexes.
The way squid mate is quite interesting and unique. The details are still unclear to researchers- but from observations, the male squid ejaculates a packet of sperm- turns it inside out within a membrane then it gets embedded into the skin of the mate. So hopefully if the male is successful- the sperm will stick and the female and choose when and where she wants to fertilize her eggs. (Must be nice.. haha)
As you can see in these photos- There are some white specs just above the female squid’s eye on her mantle. Those are male squid sperm packets.
The second photo is a close up of the sperm packets on the female squid’s mantle- thank you MBARI for the awesome photos!
So are you still wondering if male squid are gay? Well that’s not really the case… since deep-sea squid don’t come into contact with one another too often- their drive to reproduce is enhanced when the come into contact with any other squid (male or female). It’s better to mate with whoever they come in contact with- than loosing any opportunity to reproduce. The squid live by themselves..so it’s lonely out there in the big blue. All they want to do is ensure the survival of their species…who can blame them?