Wednesday, February 13, 2013

14 Days of Genitals, Day 7: No Scrubs

I’m sure we’ve all been there. You’ve had the significant other who’s a little needy and can’t stand to be away from you for more than five minutes at a time, or the moocher who wants to crash on your couch all day dressed in nothing more than their underwear and dorito detritus. Maybe you, too, have woken up to someone who didn’t seem quite so bug-eyed and scrawny in the dark. The only thing worse than one of these is, well, all three of these at once.

Such is the curse of the female deep sea anglerfish.

http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/a-female-anglerfish-with-a-male-darlyne-a-murawski.jpg
To be fair, that deep in the ocean it's not like they can see anyways...
That cute little flesh nugget there on this handsome lady’s belly is her mate. He’s basically useless; male anglerfish are full-on parasites, with their entire circulatory system looped into that of the female. All they contribute is sperm and backseat driving. Even worse, sometimes female anglerfish can have more than one boy toy attached at a time. While the Vengeance Team definitely applauds the innovative adaptation of polyandry, given that these particular men neither clean the dishes nor offer much in the way of conversation, we’ve really only got one thing to say to our fishy friends:

Have you considered parthenogenesis?

Shoemaker, H. (1958). A female ceratioid angler, cryptopsaras couesi gill, from the gulf of mexico, bearing three parasitic males. Copeia, 1958(2), 143-145.