Guess what's in his big belly?
early warning: contains adult information.
it is said that all human beings who want to get married are afraid of meeting a "giant baby" spouse. There is no exact scientific definition of the word "giant baby", but in the biological world, there are indeed male spouses of some animals who appear to be very "naive" or even "babies". They begin to perform their husband's bounden duty before they are born.
from the point of view of human beings, such a marital relationship is very scary, but as an evolved survival strategy, it can also be said to be another way.
some species of mites, such as Acarophenax and Adactylidium, have violent family relationships. Female mites feed on insect eggs and develop an unusually large abdomen like a huge spherical room in which young mites hatch and feed on maternal tissue until sexual maturity. Young mites of the genus Acarophenax take only two days from birth to adulthood.
pregnant female mites carrying adult mites
in the mother's belly, male mites mate with female mites, and then drill a hole in the body of the mother who ate into an empty shell and climb out. The male mite dies soon after it is born, and the female mite with fertilized eggs goes to look for insect eggs and begins this full cycle.
these mites with strange love and marriage relationships have a serious imbalance in the proportion of men and women. In the genus Acarophenax, for example, it takes 5-8 females to have one male. Because male mites mate in the mother's belly and cannot go out to find more females, it is a waste of resources to produce too many males. As long as there are enough sons to fertilize all the daughters.
Pymotes mites, female mites also give birth to adult children in the body, but unlike Acarophenax, Pymotes leaves its mother's belly before mating
the bone-eating worm (Osedax) found by marine biologist Greg Rouse in Monterey Bay, USA, the relationship between marriage and love is much more peaceful. Bone-eating worms belong to the family Bombyx mori. Despite their scary names, these worms are not lethal, not even mouths. They use plant root-like tissue to break down the remains of whale bones that have sunk to the bottom of the sea (the so-called "whale fall"), and then use nutrients inside the bones to feed bacteria. Rawls believes that whaling will reduce the number of undersea whale bones and hit the population of bone-eating worms.
if the young bone-eating worm lands on the whale bone, it will develop into a female. If it falls on the female, it will enter the female's tubular body, his whole body remains in the fetal state, only the gonads are mature, a female can hold 100 males, and their only job is to inseminate the eggs. This is probably the most extreme polyandry in the animal world. Incidentally, the male's testicles are located at the end of the body, but the sperm is excreted through the head.
figure a, female worm, figure b and c, male worm contained in female worm, figure d, male worm remaining young
Photo Source: researchgate
this is a bit like the male of the mackerel, but the male can live on the female for a long time, and the nutrition of the male bone-eating worm depends entirely on the yolk sac. When the nutrition is exhausted, he dies. So the female husbands have been in a state of "iron battalion and flowing soldiers". Males continue to wither like flowers, while females can live until the whale bones are eaten.
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Bone-eating worm and whale bone pattern T-shirt
Photo source: coastalpaleo.blogspot
this article is reproduced from "the Squirrel Nest of Seedle Shrimp". Scan the code to follow the author to learn more about cold species.