To: "Rev. Dr. Onan Canobite" <onan@subgenius.com>

Newsgroups: alt.slack

Subject: Worm Penis Fencing

From: "P. O. Box 2321" <box2321@teleport.com>

Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 17:59:07 -0800

 

Reuters New Media

Wednesday February 11 4:33 PM EST

Sex, violence and flatworms

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Nature has provided a variety of sexual mechanisms

to ensure survival of a species but none is as violent as "penis

fencing" among marine flatworms, German researchers said Wednesday.

Humans and animals transfer sperm through copulation, or as Nicolaas

Michiels of Germany's Max-Planck-Institute in Seewiesen calls it, a

"genital handshake."

But hermaphrodite worms that have both male and female sex organs

inject sperm under their partner's skin.

In a letter to the scientific journal Nature, Michiels explained how

he and his colleagues observed the sex play of Pseudoceros bifurcus,

marine flatworms which duel with their sharp-tipped penises to try to

inject each other with sperm. The loser is the first one to be

impaled.

"Individuals try to stab one another but show strong avoidance

behavior when struck by their partner. During 39 contests, 287 strikes

led to 46 inseminations in 12 pairs," he said.

"Hypodermic insemination, when present, allows hermaphrodites to skew

sexual interaction in favor of sperm donation, fueling an evolutionary

arms race between strike and avoidance behavior," Michiels said.

 

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Rev. Dr. Onan Canobite - SubGenius since 1982 - onan@subgenius.com

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