Salty Sex – Parasitic Testicles


(c) David Paul Museum Victoria

“Salty Sex” started with renewable penises, a hard act to follow, but I think parasitic testicles are up to the challenge. Anglerfish are fearsome looking creatures found in the deepest of seas. Their mouths are lined with hundreds of needle sharp teeth that can easily slice through prey up to twice as large as the anglerfish!  They are named for the glowing lure in front of their heads used to attract innocent prey. However, what you may not realise is that I am describing only the female anglerfish.

Males, on the other hand, are almost cute.They are tiny fish with huge eyes. These help them to achieve their one goal: to find a female. This is literally their only goal; they do not eat, they do not compete against each other, they just search for females. And it is when they find a female that it gets interesting.

The gallant male will sacrifice himself to provide the female with sperm. Using his pincer like teeth, he latches on to the gigantic female. Their skin fuses and the male is now permanently reliant on the female for nutrients. He is a parasite. Effectively he is a parasitic testicle as his sole function is to provide the female with sperm.

This strategy is probably very effective because the female will have access to sperm whenever she needs. What a way to reproduce!

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One thought on “Salty Sex – Parasitic Testicles

  1. Pingback: Strange-Looking Sea Creatures-Anglerfish | Online Relaxing

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