Octopuses take the cake in kinky sex!

April 4th, 2008 - 3:31 pm ICT by admin  

London, April 4 (ANI): Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown that octopuses have love lives far more intricate than previously known, by finding that the animals exhibit behaviour such as flirting, holding hands, displaying fits of jealousy, and even cross-dressing.

Octopuses are well studied in captivity, but their behaviour in the wild is less understood, as the animals are shy and often nocturnal.

During the new research, graduate student Christine Huffard examined the Abdopus Aculeatus, an octopus with a tan body the size of a small orange and 10-inch arms, while snorkeling in the waters off Indonesia.

Huffards work, however, has overturned previous assumptions, uncovering a range of mating behaviour that includes flirtation, strangulation and obsessive stalking, as well as the occasional instance of cross-dressing.

For females, the researchers discovered, the process is an uncomplicated affair. However, for males mating is a more fraught activity, and the biologists uncovered three strategies for defeating the competition which, particularly for the larger females, could be intense.

The team found that the stronger males, which they called guarders, stayed close to their partner, often within a metre, and followed it while they foraged. They used harsh measures, in some cases strangulation, to deal with any interlopers.

The researchers speculated that rival males removed competitors sperm from the females.

A second group took a more wandering approach, and travelled along the seabed to woo females when they found them. Like the guarders, they used striped body patterns to display their manliness.

But the most surprising of all were the weakest males, the researchers found. These males, whom the researchers called sneakers, swam low to the ground disguising themselves as females so as not to display their “male” brown stripes.

The team discovered that the average length of a bout among all octopuses was just under five minutes, but sessions of up to half an hour were also observed.

After conception, the female lays tens of thousands of eggs, staying in a den to protect them and keep them clean until they hatch. Weakened by the whole process, both the mother and father die within a few months.

Octopuses once-in-a-lifetime lovemaking sessions are much more than just arm wrestling, Times Online quoted Huffard, as saying. (ANI)

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