Indiscriminate squid sperm distribution is not "bisexual"

PZ Myers explains why the discovery that the male of a species of squid reproduces by showering other squids with sperm regardless of their sex doesn't make the squid "bisexual." Not that there's anything wrong with that.
This is a beautiful illustration of the flaw in applying human sexual conventions to non-human organisms. researchers studying deep-sea squid found that all of the squid, male and female alike, were speckled with sperm packets — the males just flick these things out at any passing squid, on the chance that it's a female. It's silly to call this bisexuality or same-sex mating, though — it's pretty darned common in invertebrates. Many species of sea urchins, for instance, indulge in synchronized ejaculatory orgies: on one or a few days a year, all of the individuals in a colony simultaneously spew eggs and sperm into the water, to the degree that they can turn the ocean milky white with semen and ova. Do we call that homosexuality? Is it even right to refer to it as an "orgy"? It's just indiscriminate fertilization.
No, no, no — this is not bisexuality or homosexuality

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  1. it’s not bisexual, but it’s * probably at least a misdemeanor in most juridictions.

    * – Indiscriminate squid sperm distribution

    1. “give the squids a break.”

      I read that with a mental image of Chris Crocker’s make-up running down his face, screaming, “LEAVE SQUIDNEY ALONE!”

  2. How am I supposed to understand this behaviour if science communicators won’t dumb it down and anthropomorphise it for me? Can we at least settle on bukakke?

  3. Oh, and I suppose now you’re going to tell me that trees in the spring AREN’T trying to mate with me by covering me with pollen.  “It’s just indiscriminate fertilization.” 

    Way to ruin everything, science. 

  4. Alright.  Noted.

    But the guys who use the “it’s not gay when I do it, because” speech will probably point to Myers’ article as proof that they’re “normal.”

    1. conservapedia is… not a reliable source.

      I mean, 4chan, the onion, and uncyclopedia are not reliable sources, but only conservapedia takes ellipses to say that. Most other bonkers website are bonkers because it’s funny. Conservapedia is… bonkers because they are terrified. Of everything.

  5. “All of the individuals in a colony simultaneously spew eggs and sperm into the water, to the degree that they can turn the ocean milky white with semen and ova.”

    Since I live in a beach area can some give me a heads up as to when this happens and where so I can avoid the shore during sperm and ova-slinging season?

  6. Would indiscriminate sperm distribution among humans have evolutionary advantages? A person would not be targeting females with genetic qualities that seemed best to continue forward, or avoiding females with genetic problems, but we don’t necessarily do that anyways except on some instinctive levels. In terms of spreading one’s own DNA, it would make sense to make babies everywhere possible. On the other hand, ejaculating indiscriminately on males would be wasteful in terms of energy, or the limited number of times per day you could spread your sperm to someone. It would make sense to at least identify females first, and then distribute indiscriminately, if that’s what you’re hoping for.

    Let me know when there starts to be a fee associated with participating in these comments, because it’s starting to get me really hot.

  7. “Is it even right to refer to it as an “orgy”? It’s just indiscriminate fertilization.”

    You say tomay-to, I say tomah-to.
    (but only when I’m visiting the UK)

  8. “…simultaneously spew eggs and sperm into the water, to the degree that they can turn the ocean milky white with semen and ova. ”

    dare we call it a santorum?

  9. You know your problem is Sponge Bob that you are hung up on words, on labels, that you believe they mean what they seem to mean. 

    I am not a ‘bisexual.’ I have sex with males. A ‘bisexual’ is someone who can’t get a Calamari on the phone.

    Bisexuals are males who know nobody and who nobody knows, who have zero clout. Does this sound like me Sponge Bob? No. I have clout. Lots. … I don’t want you to be impressed. I want you to understand.

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