Dating and mating services

10-Aug-2020 11:12

Long assumed to be loners, at least one octopus is now known to lead a complex love life.

Last month, biologists Christine Huffard, Roy Caldwell, and Farnis Boneka reported on one of the first long term studies of octopus mating behavior in the wild.

So while octopus cross-dressing may seem strange to us, it is just one example of a commonly employed strategy.

Why has sneaking evolved over and over again in distantly related animal clades?

While a large male guards a female in her den, displaying its telltale dark stripes that advertise its maleness, a smaller male might try to sneak a private rendezvous with the female by swimming low to the ground, hiding its masculine stripes and camouflaging itself, as females often do.

The frequency with which we see sneaking behaviors across a wide range of distantly related animal species is testimony to their evolutionary success.(Having eight arms is a boon for multi-taskers.) But even a watchful eye and eight strong arms can't guarantee that an aggressive guard won't be cuckolded — especially given the sneaky tactics employed by some smaller males ...Smaller male octopuses sometimes use a sneaky strategy to get their girl: female impersonation.What traits contribute to fitness in these octopuses?

This news brief describes traits which have been affected by sexual selection.Read the comic strip Survival of the Sneakiest, which discusses the concept of evolutionary fitness.

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