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    Australian Female Squids Eat Sperm

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Female southern bottletail squids in Australia have been observed eating the sperm of males that mated with them. Eating sperm may give the females certain nutrients that allow them to produce healthier babies in greater numbers.

    Female southern bottletail squids in Australia have been observed eating the sperm of males that mated with them.

    Previously, no research had been published about this kind of squid, so scientists from Monash University in Melbourne, Museum Victoria and the University of Melbourne studied the squid’s interesting mating habits. Fertilization occurs externally as they mate head to head with the male depositing his sperm into an external pouch near the female’s mouth.

    Eating sperm may give the females certain nutrients that allow them to produce healthier babies in greater numbers.

    Another possible reason behind this behavior is that the female squids are trying to influence who the father of their offspring will be, after they mate with several males.

    Benjamin Wegener, a researcher at Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences and lead author of the study said: "If males have their sperm consumed, rather than used for egg fertilization, they will lose that reproductive opportunity. Therefore, it is in the male's best interests to try to ensure at least some of his sperm reaches the female’s eggs.”

    Consuming ejaculates has been documented in several species, including humans.

    Human semen reportedly contains nutrients like vitamin C, protein, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B12.