London, July 8 (ANI): Discovery of a male squid with a huge elongated and erect penis has for the first time revealed the mating habits of deep-sea squid.nterestingly, the male squid's sexual organ is almost as long as its whole body, including the squid's mantle, head and arms.
This shows how male deep-sea squid inseminate females- they use their huge penis to shoot out packages of sperm, injecting them into the female's body.
The discovery may also help explain how giant squid mate in the ocean depths.
Deep-water fisheries expert Dr Alexander Arkhipkin of the Falkland Islands Government Fisheries Department, based in Stanley, has explained how he and his colleagues made the discovery
"The mature male squid was caught during a deep-water research cruise on the Patagonian slope. We took the animal from the catch, and it was moribund with arms and tentacles still moving, and chromatophores on the skin contracting and expanding," the BBC quoted him as saying.
"When the mantle of the squid was opened for maturity assessment, we witnessed an unusual event.
"The penis of the squid, which had extended only slightly over the mantle margin, suddenly started to erect, and elongated quickly to 67cm total length, almost the same length as the whole animal," he added.
The squid's sexual agitation caught the researchers by surprise.
However, its occurrence has helped solve a mystery of how deep-sea squid mate.
Catching of the male deep-sea squid, of the species Onykia ingens, has revealed the answer.
The researchers found that the squid uses its lengthy organ to reach into the body of the female, and it then injects the sperm directly to prevent it being washed away.
How the sperm injected into a female's body then reaches her reproductive organs remains a mystery.
Details of the discovery have been published in the Journal of Molluscan Studies. (ANI)