Why do Male Octopuses Die after Mating? (How does Octopus Senescence work?)

Death is inevitable for male octopuses once they’ve mated because they stop feeding, they become uncoordinated, often attracting predators in the wild, and they lose the ability to heal their skin. This period near the end of life, called senescence, is driven by secretions from the optic gland that trigger the reproductive organs while inactivating … Read more

How Do Komodo Dragons Reproduce? (Forked Penises, Males Are Optional)

Photo of Komodo dragon

Believe me when I tell you from personal experience, that observing wild Komodo dragons from a few feet away gives you a whole new respect for the size and power of these giant lizards. Komodo dragons can reproduce either sexually or by “virgin conception” depending on environmental conditions. In the wild they usually reproduce sexually, … Read more

How do Octopus Reproduce? (Cannibalistic Sex and a Detachable Member)

I have written this article to give wider exposure to some fascinating scientific insights into the complicated mating habits of octopuses. Most male octopus have a specialized extra-long arm called the hectocotylus to deliver sperm from a distance.  This is an adaptation to mating with cannibalistic females that frequently kill and eat males during or … Read more