Bizarro Animal Sex Story of the Day

By Amos Zeeberg (Discover Web Editor) | November 16, 2007 2:06 pm

Certain East African male cichlids, a kind of freshwater fish, have evolved a really odd way to increase their little sperms’ chance of reproductive success. The game plan goes as follows:

  1. Females of these species lay their eggs before they’re fertilized and then gobble them up and store them in their mouths to keep them safe.
  2. The males need to get their sperm into an egg-filled mouth to have fish babies. It might work if they just put flung their sperm out there in the water near a female, but that’s a bit of a shot in the dark (water).
  3. So the males’ anal fins have evolved to have spots that look like cichlid eggs. The females (displaying the notorious fish intelligence) think the spots are their own eggs, so they come over to eat ’em.
  4. The males then squirt out their sperm, which the females unintentionally gobble down, thinking maybe they’re eating their own eggs.

How long before teachers and parents start adding these East African cichlids to their explanations to young ‘uns about the birds and bees?

  • Anonymous User

    conception by oral sex? as if the kids didn’t have enough to worry about!

  • Anonymous User

    Bill Clinton would certainly dispute these findings.

  • Sonny Lykos

    Not necessarily. Who knows how many of Billl’s….er….eh…. victims, have had multiple abortions.

  • Cichlid

    “displaying the notorious fish intelligence” Clearly the writer has never kept any form of cichlid. While the common goldfish is rather…. dim the Cichlids are closer to dogs in intelligence. The can tell the difference in two women who look near enough alike to fool most people, they can problem solve, they can alter their environment to better suit their needs, the are able to work together in a team to achieve a common goal. Heck I’ve known people who weren’t as smart as these fish. If you look at the whole story here the egg spot is brilliant. The females lays her eggs on a rock, the males then slides in among the eggs so that as she is picking them up (to protect them from the millions of predators that would gladly have caviar for lunch) she will grab at the egg spot. Only the better blood lines of males have convincing egg spots therefore only the better lines of males are likely to successfully match sperm to egg. If you ever get the chance to watch this fascinating breeding process you’ll see quickly that the female isn’t lacking in intelligence the male is just a very very good pretender.

  • WS

    Also of interest if no Cichlid males are around one of the females will develop into a male.

  • Addison

    The Ryukin is typically triangular in body shape with an arched backbone, fat belly and feathery fins. Generally, the higher the backbone or hump behind its head, the higher the quality. As with most goldfish, live plants usually don’t fare well with goldfish as the fish will take bites out of the edges of plants. Despite its round body shape and long fins, the Ryukin is a strong swimmer.

  • robby

    good post

  • rina

    i don’t understand this post so confuse

  • zeke

    I’ve known people who weren’t as smart as these fish

  • http://animalsex Lion

    l want to watching animal sex movies


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