I got a call from my friend Janine. She said, "The slugs are mating." She was referring to a small, local slug that protrudes its brilliant, electric blue genetalia in late spring. Janine wanted to make sure I didn't miss out on this amazing sight. Slugs are hermaphrodites - ie., each individual has both male and female reproductive organs. The slugs circle each other, and sperm is exchanged through the protruding parts.
The photograph on this page is of our local banana slugs. Banana slugs can be apophallating. Here's what happens: A slug extends its corkscrew like penis into its partner. When it is time to disengage, the shape and size of the penis can make the disengagement difficult, so one or both of the slugs will chew off the penis(es), leaving the now penis-free individual a future with only egg producing options.
Societies around the world and through the ages are constantly evaluating what "normal" or "proper" sex is. Meanwhile, species around us are engaging in a wide range of acts, some of which are not very successful.
When a species suddenly becomes highly successful in reproduction, (such as the recent eruption of Mountain Pine Beetle in the Pacific Northwest), it can change the economy and lives of millions of people.
Want to know more weird stuff? Check out The EvoAngel . . .