The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #1483710
Posted By: Rustic Rebel
12-May-05 - 07:11 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
I thought I pickled that damn squid last Christmas.....
So how do squid reproduce you ask? I shall tell you...

This may not be suitable for certain persons with weak hearts, stomachs, ankles or hair folicles. ~

First they usually meet at a sand bar.
The Ink Spots tune, 'Don't Get Around Much Anymore' playing on the junk of the sea box-
Unless pheromones are involved (squid perfumes), both male and female (or male/male and female/female) probably just bump into each other in the dark. After a moment of panic, sixteen arms and four tentacles entangle and the giants go beak to beak.

The relatively long terminal organ (penis) of a mature male is almost the length of its mantle, from which it projects freely, through the funnel, for a considerable portion of the organ's length. Species with such long organs presumably use them directly to implant spermatophores hydraulically into the female, and as a rule lack modification of either ventral arm (hectocotylus) for spermatophore transfer. Architeuthis lacks a hectocotylus.

His metre+-long penis presumably injects numerous spermatophores directly into the female's arms. The two animals then separate, the male swimming away, probably a bit beat up (possibly having lost parts of his arms and tentacles in the violent struggle, but none the wiser likely repeats this affair with another female (should the opportunity arise). His spermatophores remain embedded in each female's arms - possibly burrowing even deeper into their flesh.

Copulation is likely to accelerate maturity of the female. Eggs soon funnel from her large, terminally positioned ovary into long, convoluted proximal oviducts. From here they advance to the oviducal glands, structures that secrete to the egg chemicals that, amongst other things, initiate sperm activation and attraction. Passing from these glands the eggs would discharge from the distal oviduct, possibly in strings, directly into the female mantle cavity. The nidamental glands would then secrete vast amounts of jelly, probably almost entirely filling her mantle cavity. This jelly binds with discharging eggs, and like a cement mixer, her mantle probably rhythmically contracts and relaxes, thoroughly mixing them. Shortly afterwards this mass of jelly and egg would be extruded through her funnel, and a sphere-like egg mass of ~half-a-metre in diameter would be released. This mass would then be taken into her arms where she would cradle it as it absorbed seawater and increases in size (possibly to two-or-so metres diameter).

The problem has always been how to get the sperm (embedded in the arms) to the eggs (embedded in the jelly/egg mass). One solution is proposed here (but this is guess work). While she cradles this mass in her arms, chemicals released from the jelly activate the spermatophores embedded into her arms. These 10-cm long parasite-like spermatophores then would migrate through her flesh to the arm surface, their ends would rupture and sperm would be discharged directly to the face of the egg mass. Frenzied by the chemical cues given off by the eggs, the sperm migrate through the jelly to individual eggs and fertilisation ensues. The egg mass would then be released by the female and drift away in the current. (The alternative is to having fertilisation occurring within her mantle. This would, however, necessitate either the spermatophores or the sperm to actively migrate from the arms to the mantle cavity. To date no spermatophore has been observed in any of the mantle cavity, proximal or distal oviduct, or oviducal gland of any dissected female. Moreover, it is quite unlikely that individual sperm could travel this distance. Cradling the egg mass in the arms seems the most plausible way for sperm to be exposed to the egg.)

Now aren't you glad you asked?