What's a lonely squid to do? California scientists are reporting results from a project employing remote-controlled submersibles which show deep-sea squids aren't too choosy about their sex partners.
In fact, due to the lack of light and the vast distances between potential mates, both male and female squid will try to have relations with either sex. Just in case they get lucky...
The findings are the result of a nearly 20-year study conducted in the waters around the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California. According to project leader Henk-Jan Hoving, "Squid, including deep-sea species, only reproduce once and they have to find mates in time in an environment where encounters between individuals of the same species are few and far between."
This means that squids of both sexes take a literal "shot in the dark" approach to mating and settle for what they can get. Of the 20 or so proven encounters studied, only half had the potential for bearing offspring with a pairing between male and female partners.
A 50-50 shot? Sounds like life in the deep is not so different from the world up above. It's a wonder there are still so many cute baby squids in the ocean!
Image courtesy of the UK Telegraph