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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Sea Slug Sports Detachable Penis
12 February 2013 7:15 pm
The colorful sea slug known as Chromodoris reticulata (center image) boasts the ultimate throwaway culture. Researchers report online today in Biology Letters that the animal, found in the Pacific and Indian oceans, sloughs off its penis after sex (left)—then grows a new one. Scuba-diving researchers collected slugs from a coral reef off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, then watched as the animals mated in a tank (right). The animals shed their outer male organs 15 to 30 minutes after mating, but they were equipped for love again after roughly 24 hours. This is the first known case of copulation with what the researchers call a "disposable" penis. Dissection revealed a coiled and compressed stretch of reproductive tissue inside the slug's body. The researchers think this tissue elongates into a new penis, allowing a superstud slug to have as many as three hookups in 3 days. Good news for the slugs, and for those of us who remember the 90s.
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