The sex life of Octopoteuthis deletron — O. deletron, if you prefer — is a cruelly hit-or-miss affair, according to candid footage of the deep-sea squid in its element, unveiled last Wednesday.
No foreplay, no tender caresses, no fond farewells until the next union, just a desperate drive to reproduce followed by a glancing quickie and an early death.
Scientists suspect that some specimens can drift a lifetime without ever encountering a potential sex partner, much less a soul mate.
In the open sea at 800m it can make the search for companionship long and lonely, a team of researchers note in a study, published in the journal Biology Letters.
And even when these solitary, bug-eyed cephalopods do run into each other, they probably cannot tell a he-squid from a she-squid, prompting males to proposition the first shapely body that comes along, no matter what its sex.
That, in any case, is what Hendrik Hoving of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California and colleagues suspected when they set out to film the creatures in their natural setting.
O. deletron’s reproductive cycle was already known. During opposite-sex mating, males use a long tentacle-like appendage — a penis of sorts — to deposit small sperm-laden sacs, called spermatangia, onto females.
The sacs release sperm into the female’s tissue, and the cycle begins anew, leaving the males to die shortly after a single reproductive act.
But Hoving had noticed empty spermatangia on the surface of dead males caught in fishing nets, and wondered how they got there.
To find out, he used remotely operated vehicles to explore the deep waters off the central California coast.
The video footage captured 108 individuals, but scientists could only identify the sex of 39 squid, 19 females and 20 males, according to the study.
None were caught in flagrante delicto, but the riddle was solved: 19 of them — nine boy squids and 10 girl squids — had clusters of spermatangia attached to their bodies.
“Males were as likely to be found mated as females,” the study concluded. The sperm-carrying sex, in other words, “routinely and indiscriminately mates with both males and females.”
1. desperate adj.
極度渴望的 (ji2 du4 ke3 wan4 de5)
例: Many governments are growing increasingly desperate to solve their debt crises.
2. shapely adj.
勻稱的 (yun2 cheng4 de5)
例: He has a shapely body, doesn’t he?
3. indiscriminately adv.
(bu4 fen1qing1 hong2 zao4 bai2 de5)
例: He indiscriminately eats anything you put in front of him. No wonder he’s so overweight.
Since its premiere on Oct. 2, US comedy series Emily in Paris has caused a sensation across the world. The Web TV series, starring actress Lily Collins, tells the story of Emily, a young woman who moves from Chicago to Paris for a job, as she struggles both at work and in love while experiencing culture shock. The show has topped streaming giant Netflix’s global chart and is the most-watched show in Taiwan. But the American perspective of the lead character has offended some French critics, who say that the “City of Lights” is not just about berets, croissants and cafes,
A: We can rest here. This is a good place to catch our breath, drink some water and enjoy the waterfall. B: It’s not the highest waterfall I’ve ever seen, but I like the way the water is cascading down those fallen boulders. A: Can you see that rock halfway up the waterfall? Is that two people sitting on it? B: I think you’re right. It’s a great vantage point to see the top of the waterfall. I wonder how they got up there. A: 我們可以在這裡休息一下。這地方很適合喘口氣、喝點水，還有欣賞瀑布。 B: 雖然不是我見過最高的瀑布，但是我喜歡瀑布落在這些倒下的大石塊的樣子。 A: 你看到瀑布往上中間的石頭嗎？那是兩個人坐在上面嗎？ B: 說的對，那是看瀑布頂端的絕佳位置。不知道他們是怎麼爬上去的？ （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文:
A: How are your legs? Not too tired? This is the final stretch. We’re almost at the top. B: So do we need to walk up that path? I think I’ll be fine: it looks like a gentle ascent, and there are steps all the way. A: Appearances can be deceptive. The path gets quite steep further on, and the steps become broken and irregular. We’re not out of the woods yet. B: What does that signpost say? If we take the right fork we will get to a temple in 25 minutes. A: Nice try. We’re going