amazing animals

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High Stakes Slug

Amazing Animals

High Stakes Slug

This banana slug yin yang is not quite as innocent as it seems. In fact, it s a bizarre mating dance and just the beginning of how weird things are about to get for these mollusks. You see, banana slugs are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female sexual organs. These organs are located, oddly enough, near their heads, explaining the cheek to cheek position you see here. When banana slugs start to mate, they nip, bite, and eventually intertwine, inserting their penises into one another s genital openings. Once the sperm transfer is complete, slugs sometimes can t disengage from one another. That s when they do something really strange: a process called apophallation. Not to mince words, this means that one or both slugs chew the other s penis clean off. The organ doesn t regenerate, so these post apophallation slugs live the rest of their days as females.

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