A revelation that will change human history (AKA you and your spermatophores are going home alone)

Hold onto your hats everyone. This is a biggy.

I’ve just worked out the answer to one of the great questions of human existence.

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that most of you don’t know how a starfish eats. Or how cuttlefish mate.

Right?

So the marine biologists in my vast (cough) audience are yawning right now. But hang on! That’s not the big revelation.

You see, starfish are at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to eating. They do have mouths, and they have stomachs (handy really). No that’s not the revelation either.

Starfish have mouths basically on their tummies. You know, the underside of their bodies. Where a lot of us mammals have a navel.

To eat, a starfish has to get on top of its food, extend its stomach out of its mouth, envelope its prey, wait for it to start to digest and then draw stomach back in, food included.

 

A vicious starfish waiting for a diver to mistake it for a stylish Fascinator

Which I think explains why, while there are many deep-sea creatures who like to put homo-sapiens on the menu, there are no man-eating starfish. I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I’m standing still, wearing a starfish as a hat, long enough for the little fucker to digest me.

I know, right? That’s a pretty BIG conclusion to come to. But that’s not the revelation either.

Now to cuttlefish. These deep-sea cephalopods are fairly smart*, but you could never call them romantic. To mate, the male inserts a packet of sperm into an opening near the female’s mouth. She then leisurely fertilises her eggs and hangs them from a suitable object and waits for them to mature.

Hey honey, why don’t you come back to my place where we can turn the lights down low… put on some jazz… and I can place my sack of sperm in the opening near your mouth so you can fertilise them and hang them from the clothes airer… yeah…

I’m busy tonight washing my mantle… you and your spermatophore are going home alone tonight.

Keep those sperm packets away from me, fella…

Interesting as it is, even the lack of romantic frisson in the sex life of a cuttlefish isn’t the revelation.

Between male cuttlefish aggressively displaying to their own reflections, (hey dude, keep your egg sacks away from my laydee…), female cuttlefish eyeing off the fixtures for a good place to hang an egg, and starfish chucking their stomachs all over the place…

THIS IS WHY YOU NEVER SEE DEEP-SEA MARINE LIFE ON DATES IN NICE RESTAURANTS.

It also proves that old adage that some things are best done in private.

* Google “cross-dressing cuttlefish” if you don’t believe me. Goes to show that smart wins over pretty even in marine biology.

What weird sea-life facts do you know?

Comments

  1. I love the ocean and its sea life but must admit I have never thought of the sex life of cuttlefish!
    I shall never look at them the same.
    At least now I will have an interesting story to tell to all those around me as I collect their dry frame from the beach for my bird.
    As people look at me in a weird way when I tell these strange facts I shall blame you dear froggy friend.
    Luv it 🙂 xx

  2. Truly bizarre facts! Why do we bother trying to invent “aliens” when we have such weird animals swimming in our own watery areas! Well done – and I love the moral of the story!*lol*

  3. ERMAGHERRRRRD I am so glad we are friends.

    I don’t know anyone else who a)knows all thast shiz and b) manages to enlighten me whilst simultanously making coffee come out of my nose and a little bit of wee from down below.

    You are too good. xxx

  4. There you go, I definitely learnt something today. (Well, two things!). The starfish thing is just creepy, though my stomach’s pretty big at the moment I’m pretty sure I could hoover up some chocolates – or they’d get lost in the rolls of fat.

    PS. Note to self – never pick up a cuttlefish. Ever. Again.

  5. Anonymous says:

    yes you do, but they’re on the plate!!

  6. I really didn’t, repeat *didn’t* want to be the one to tell you this, but some cephalopods have sperm packets that ate released with barbs to hold them in place. As discovered recently by a Chinese woman who was rushed to hospital after an unpleasant ‘oral’ incident at a restaurant that did not meticulously prepare her meal. :O Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.

  7. It’s not a sea fact but I saw an elephant take a piss on the Living Room last week, wish.I.hadn’t!

    Oh, and male dolphins don’t mind going for a roll in the water with a human female. They fuck anything basically as they are the horniest sea animal or something

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