They’re the swingers of the deep blue sea. Scientists have discovered that male deep sea squid are a bisexual bunch – mating just as often with males as with females.
This has been put down to the fact that, given male and female squid are roughly the same size, they simply can’t tell the difference in the dark.
The underwater survey on octopoteuthis deletron was carried out in the Monterey Submarine Canyon, off the coast of California, by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
Dr Hendrik-Jan Hoving and his colleagues reported their findings Wednesday in the journal Biology Letters.
Although instances of male-male mating are known from other squid and octopus species, this is the first time it has been found to be as frequent as male-female mating.
ABC Science reported that the squids’ homosexual behavior was caught on film by a remotely operated vehicle at depths of 400 to 800 meters.
When the squid mate, the male releases a sperm-filled bag that discharges into the tissues of its partner. Empty sperm sacs are then left on the female body “as an outward sign of recent mating”, wrote the Guardian.
But Hoving’s team found the number of unsuspecting males carrying spent sperm sacs was equal to the number of females.
They said this "shot-in-the-dark" approach, and waste of sperm, seemed like a less costly option for the squid than fine-tuning their ability to spot the females.
Seems squid should be considered pioneers of sexual freedom.
(Read more on Global Post: Humans are one in 8.7 million, say scientists)