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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Envious of a Sea Slug

Author: Guest Writer/Tuesday, February 19, 2013/Categories: Uncategorized

By Lucas Gardner

As reported by the Royal Society journal, Japanese researchers recently observed a very strange, very special ability of the Chromodoris reticulata species of sea slugs - the ability to detach and regrow its penis. Basically, their entire life is like that one King Missile song.

It's a weird feeling to be envious of a sea slug, but I'd choose the ability to only have a penis when I WANT one over any other super power, although the sex life of the Chromodoris reticulata, or nudibranchs, is a generally undesirable affair. Nudibranchs are a hermaphroditic species, with both a penis and vagina on the right side of their bodies. During mating, two nudibranchs “connect” at each other's right side, the penis of one entering into the vagina of the other and vice versa, thereby legitimizing “double penetration” as a scientific term, and offering you a good excuse if your girlfriend checks your browser history.

The Japanese researchers report that the act lasts anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. (Several minutes? Who are these slugs, Sting?) Afterwards, the sea slugs shed their penises and grow it back within 24-hours, for round two.

Bernard Picton of National Museums Northern Ireland calls the sex life of the nudibranchs “complicated,” which is a lot like saying the Artcic is “kind of chilly.”

Still, I maintain that that's a truly awesome ability. I honestly can't tell you how many times I've wished I could ditch mine and then just get it back at my convenience. For example, when I was 12 and went to that pool party at Sharon Griffin's house. Or that one time in church at age 11, during the part of Exodus where Aaron made all those people get naked. Or that time when I was age 14 through 17.

- Lucas Gardner is a comedian and a person who tweets at @Lucas_Gardner.

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