Saturday, 29 September 2012

Yikes! This Fish Sports a Penis With 4 Hooks

Scientists have described a new species of fish in Mexico with a male that has some fearsome genitalia. Equipped with four hooks, the male's sex parts might allow him to grab onto a resistant female during mating, researchers say.

The freshwater llanos mosquitofish, or Gambusia quadruncus, was described this month in the Journal of Fish Biology by a team led by researcher Brian Langerhans of North Carolina State University. Langerhans explained that the male's hooked genitals may be a counter-response to the female's own defenses against undesirable mates.

"Typically, reproduction is more costly in females, so females favor ways of reducing mating with 'lower quality' males, but reproduction is cheap in males and so selection favors ways of mating with as many females as possible," Langerhans said in a statement.

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