Thursday, February 05, 2009

Birds do it! Bees do it!!
And I'm glad I'm not a slug trying to do it.

The sex education gurus and evolutionists and anti-evolutionists don't seem to have considered the costs and benefits ot teaching about the mating habits of slug.

Therealities of what happens might be better "protection" than condoms or The Pill. Instant abstinence!
If this is "intelligent design" my IQ points must be bogus.
Personally, I'm glad we evolved....

I got intrigued from reading Janet Lembke's book "Because the cat purrs" and was, frankly, confused and mystified by her description quoted from Lionel Adams of slugs' mating ritual:
When the pursuer overtakes the pursued, each touches with its tentacles the tentacles of the other... then begins a circular procession, each with its mouth at the other's tail, and this procession lasts from half an hour to two hours and a half. ... then, suddenly the slugs intertwine fiercely, and launch themselves into space,
heads downward, but suspended by a thick strand of mucus for the distance of
15-18 inches.

She waxes eloquent saying that this tangle of slime actually looks like an "upside-down two-stemmed cocktail glass of a glistening blue slightly paler than the Bombay Sapphire gin bottle."

The video on YouTube informs us that the male organ emerges from behind the slugs head. (And we thought Klingons, Vulcans and average aliens were odd! AND we get to hear the "plop" of the spent slug hitting the forest floor when the deed is finished. (the other slug eats its way up the mucus bungee cord and moves on.


Google helped me find Theresa McCracken's blog: McHumor wherein she contributes more shocking facts:

The male organ can get bigger than the slug's entire body.And weighs 1500 times more during mating season than during the rest of the year.

And if they run out of time before they finish, they gnaw off the male organ in order to separate. Unlike Lorena and John Bobbitt, there are apparently no hard feelings, jail time or even marital counseling.

The visual (courtesy of Rik Littlefield):
Garden Slugs Mating

In masterful understatement he explains:

Aside from bringing out a surprising beauty of these normally sort of "blah" animals, the mating process of slugs will shake your preconceptions (groan!) of how these things work.These slugs have an elaborate ritual involving much crawling around each other in circles, followed by twining together and hanging from a cord of slime, and culminated by flaring together of large genitalia that are extruded from underneath the mantle on one side of the body. The slugs of this species are hermaphroditic, but must exchange sperm in a symmetric act. Other species do things a bit differently, including some that even convert males to females by a process called "apophallation" -- biting off the
penis -- .

Truth IS stranger than fiction.

This sexy, slimey, sluggish detour has reminded me of one of the tenets of Montessori education. Follow the curiosity, and fill in the gaps. Trust that the student will find things to be interested in, and guide him or her to satisfy the interest innate in humans.

What are you interested in?


Jen said...

Thanks for asking, I paused for a good amount of time before I came up with these things that I find myself interested in:

Why people expect good behavior from politicians.

Why people select excerpts from the bible to defend their positions and don't expect to be called out on it.

Why animals behave like individuals but we call them dumb.

What drives us to create and achieve stuff.

Thanks for asking.

Rachel H said...

Hm. Yeah, thanks for pointing me back here! Ha ha ha ha...

Actually that was really interesting and quite bonkers! I am oddly fascinated by insects and, er, I forget what slugs and snails are.... well, creepy/ crawly/ slidey things.

So much thanks for your enlightenment. Oh god, I've got to eat my dinner now...