The world’s largest female squid (sometimes called a “Kraken” after a mythical sea monster) captured off the coast of Japan seems to have had only one amorous encounter in her lifetime.
The woman had a sperm packet from only one male giant squid embedded in her body, which surprised researchers. Scientists have hoped that women will opportunistically collect and store sperm from multiple men over time, as the giant squid is a lonely creature that occasionally encounters potential companions. rice field.
“I was almost certain that they were indiscriminate,” said Noritaka Hirohashi, a biologist at Shimane University. “I just wanted to know how many males were involved in mating, so this is totally unexpected.”
Hirohashi and his colleagues are studying the reproduction and sperm biology of several squid species, the most mysterious of all. Architeuthis dux, Giant squid. The giant squid, which is rarely seen alive, has a deep-sea mysterious life cycle.Video of a giant squid living in a natural habitat Only captured twice.. The only thing researchers know about the mating habits of these mysterious creatures is that female giant squids are sometimes found in large sperm packets known as sperm tanjia embedded in their muscles.Researcher writing a 1997 paper in a journal Nature The male giant squid is probably using a “slender penis of muscle” to inject sperm parcels into the female.
It is not entirely clear how sperm meet the egg from there. Women can release chemical cues that activate sperm when they are ready to lay their eggs. Alternatively, it may release an egg to follow along a sperm packet as it leaves the body. Female squids have an organ near the mouth called a semen receptor.There, some species attack sperm, and in those species, embedded sperm Go over the skin to these receptacles..
Knowing that it was very unlikely that they would witness the mating of two giant squids, Hirohashi and his team used genetics to develop a window to the process. They examined squid specimens from fisheries and museum archives and identified several segments of the giant squid genome that distinguish one set of squid DNA from another. Think of it like a paternity test of a squid. You can test if the sperm packets found in a woman are from multiple men, and if so, how many.
Researchers are always looking for sperm-studded women. They send leaflets to local museums, aquariums, and aquariums, asking the lab to warn if a giant squid specimen is found. In February 2020, they got the good news.
“in this case, [a] Yahoo News [article] I said that the giant squid was caught, “Hirohashi wrote in an email to Live Science.
The specimen was a woman with a 5.25-foot (1.6-meter) long mantle or body. It lacked tentacles and one eye, but weighed 257 pounds (116.6 kilograms). The squid was caught in a fishing net in Kyoto and displayed at the Miyazu Energy Aquarium for dissection.
Hirohashi’s team examined the body and found that the squid was just maturing, with 3.9-inch (10 cm) long wavy sperm embedded in five separate locations. Head. Each location hosted at least 10 sperms. Some were near gouache, which could have been caused by the beak of a mating male.
Genetic analysis of sperm revealed that each one came from the same man. This was shocking to the research team. The giant squid often has sperm packets in a way that suggests that men are not particularly noisy. Sperm is found in immature women, probably as a way to make sperm available to men after they have matured, and probably because men are trying something (or perhaps accidentally self-fertilizing). ) Also seen in men. All evidence showed species that mated first and then asked questions later.
Of course, since the specimen is a single female, further research is needed to determine if monogamy is the standard for female giant squids.The woman may have encountered just one man before being caught up in the net that ended her life, researchers wrote in the September issue of the journal. Deep Sea Research Part 1.. Alternatively, it may be common for females to mate with one male. Gouache may be part of a male strategy to keep other males out. Perhaps limiting the lifespan of females after mating so that they do not have time to collect sperm. Alternatively, researchers speculated that aggression and injury could cause females to mature and spawn, and sperm to fertilize quickly.
The next step is to study more specimens of sperm, Hirohashi said. And researchers need to understand how stored sperm reach the egg. The egg is not deposited especially near the sperm. Researchers also need to understand basically everything else about this elusive creature, including its lifespan, migration, and habitat, he added.
“Children ask these questions in the aquarium, so we have to answer,” Hirohashi said.
Originally published in Live Science
The most elusive giant squid in the world could be a hint of a monogamous female corpse
Source link The most elusive giant squid in the world could be a hint of a monogamous female corpse