Cuttlefish Sex

From Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith:

Cuttlefish sex is a peaceful affair by the standards of the animal kingdom. They mate head to head. The male attempts to grasp the female front-on. If she accepts him, he will envelop the female’s head with his arms. Having reached this position, there are a couple of minutes of stillness. Apparently he is blowing water at her with his funnel during this period. The male then uses his left fourth arm to take a sperm packet and place it in a special receptacle below the female’s beak, and, with more rapid motions, he breaks the packet open. They separate.

3 thoughts on “Cuttlefish Sex

  1. Bix Post author

    It is. It’s just amazing. Really beautiful too.

    And, “the left fourth arm”! That’s so specific!

    I can’t tell which is the male in this video. Maybe the one on the right, since it looks bigger. I notice that they change color as they’re filmed. She develops definite dark spots and he has a big dark splotch on his back, maybe to warn away the cameraman? There’s always so much to see…

    Reply

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