Evolution, Sex, and Cephalopods

A recent study in the journal Biology Letters attempts to find out what the “costs” are of having sex, particularly with a view to squid sex.  Here’s an article summarizing the study’s findings.  There are a few interesting points here. 

Dumpling squid have sex for approximately 3 hours at  a time, and they have sex frequently throughout their year-long life.  Basically, that means that a dumpling squid spends most of its life having it off, getting busy, etc. 

The costs of this extensive sex-life are quite high.  3-hour mating rituals are exhausting, as indicated by the slow swimming of squid after sex.  When you’re tired from that much lovemaking, it’s hard to do a lot of other evolutionary tasks, such as finding food, avoiding predators, and perhaps most interestingly, it makes it harder to find other mates.  Furthermore, the short lifespans of these squid could be due to the fact that they exhaust themselves from such high-intensity sex. They are getting busy for so long, it’s killing them.

If it makes you too tired to find food, avoid predators, and pass on your genes to other mates, then why have sex for so long?  Because it’s good! 

Evolution is clearly not oriented toward survival of the fittest.  The important thing is not fit survival.  The important thing is survival of the sexiest.  Survival is only a value insofar as it facilitates sexiness.  We don’t have sex to survive, we survive so that we can have sex, exorbitant and exhausting intercourse.

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