My duck is peeved that the monkey didn't let me reproduce Ron's randy depiction of a double underwater handjob for Ria's benefit. As befits the vivid coloration of this speeding slug
that resembles a duck with a venereal disorder, this pretty nudibranch enjoys a rather morbid reputation for its tendency to go out with a bang.
The monkey and I chanced upon this Gymnodoris rubropapulosa while
trying to drown each other foraging on the outer side of the seawall at Hantu Besar's lagoon, where it was traversing a silty stretch between islands of coral rubble and sargassum. After showing the pictures to Ron, we were pleased to be told unlike wimpy green slugs that consume algae, this gaudy dorid is a gory predator of other nudibranches. In turn, few prey on it thanks to acid glands that secrete nasty chemicals when the animal is disturbed.
We were further informed that this species and a few cousins practice a deviant form of copulation in which the mating pair will both fuck and attempt to eat each other to bliss. Ron recalled with a certain pleasure his viewing of a video where two slugs engaged in mutual mouthing, resulting in the less capable oral artist being devoured until nothing was left of him/her (for they are hemaphrodites, which makes my duck rather jealous) but "the head and the testicles."
Later, this wholesome discussion degenerated into a debate on whether nudibranches had testicles. My duck is of the firm opinion that organisms that go to such lengths to achieve orgasm surely have balls (that said, squid probably have balls too, as some species ascend from the deep for mass orgies that culminate in mass expirations from night-long trysts). For other adventures in erotic extremes and sex worth dying for, try this article by Carl Zimmer.
Well, it turns out that nudibranches have ducks too. But instead of protruding from their underparts, the organ and associated plumbing lie shortly behind the head and is capable of highly flexible extrusion. Imagine if this arrangement had been intelligently incorporated into our sorry excuse for a body! Giving and receiving would be so much more enjoyable if one's blowhole weren't so close to the shithole...
For more chaste tales of nudibranches, click here. Meanwhile, this news goes to show that if we tary at our grand mission to wipe up marine biodiversity by reclaiming the coasts and gobbling up whatever's edible to the last, these horrid scientists from the decadent west who pursue boliao research into horrid sea creatures rather than making big bucks as duck-repairing plastic surgeons will reap all the gains from discovering the cure to cancer!