Southern dumpling squid

The frisky southern dumpling squid
Image: flickr.com/PHYLOMON!

Last week I discovered a type of squid called Euprymna tasmanica, aka the southern dumpling squid. So-called for their round little bodies, these critters have turned out to be a frisky bunch.

Dumpling squid get a little exhausted after their typical three-hour love-making session, taking 30 minutes to return to normal swimming speed.

This has been all over the media, from New Scientist to BBC Nature, the Sydney Morning Herald to The Conversation. Most of these articles are accompanied by the sort of intimate pictures a squid should really keep under wraps (in case they should ever run for office).

Why is there such an obsession with this tiny cephalopod? Perhaps it’s their post-coital colour changing abilities, with shades including yellow, green, orange and purple. Or maybe it’s their ability to bury themselves in sand and then hide in a cloud of ink. In the end, it’s probably a fascination with a creature for whom sex is truly risky business, after all when you’re that knackered it’s hard to evade being eaten by predators.

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