Same Girl

Greneledone boreopacifica....Are you my daddy?  Image from wikimedia commons

Greneledone boreopacifica....Are you my daddy? Image from wikimedia commons

Yo Ush, What up Kels
Wanna introduce you to this girl, think I really love this girl, Yeah?
Man she so fine, Straight up dawg?
She stand about 5’4” coke cola red bone, Damn
She drives a black Durango license plate say “Angel” tattoo on her ankle, Plus she’s making pay so she got a crib on Peachtree right on 17th street, And I call her “TT”
Wait a minute hold on dawg do she got a kid? Yep
…. she love some waffle house? Yep
Do she got a beauty mark on her left side of her mouth? Man?
Went to Georgia Tech? Yep
Works for TBS?
Man, I can’t believe this chick… damn… mm
Tell me whats wrong dawg, what the hell you damning about, I’m your homie so just say what’s on your mind
Man I didn’t know that you were talking about her
So man you’re telling me you know her?
Do I know her? like a pastor knows his word

We messing with the same girl same girl same girl
How could the love of my life, and my potential wife be the
Same girl, same girl, same girl
Man I can’t believe that we’ve been messing with the
Same girl, same girl, same girl
Thought she someone that I can trust
but she’s been doubling up with us
U K, man we’ve been messing with the same girl

New work by Voight and Feldheim finds evidence of multiple paternity in deep-sea octopods.  The authors conduct a genetic analysis of 12 offspring in a single clutch.  Who’s the baby’s daddy?  In Graneledone boreopacifica the father could be one of two sires. The microsatellites don’t lie! But two sires of the same clutch of young is no record holder.  In another cephalopods, the young were traced back to 5 daddies.

So how did this all happen? The male places his modified third arm, the hectocotylus, into an internal penis to acquire a sperm packet. He then presents the hectocotylus to the female and inserts it into her mantle cavity.  The sperm packet itself is extremely hydrophyilic.  When exposed to seawater, the sperm packet takes on water, evaginates, and releases a sperm bladder into the female.  This sperm bladder must then detonate burst further into the female’s reproductive system.

So why so many daddies?  Females that use sperm  may have an advantage.  The specifics of that advantage are a source for much conjecture.  1) Females get to replenish sperm supplies for later storage in a environment where mates may be scarce. 2) Females receive something other than sperm from males, like nutrients. 3) Females increase their likelihood of mating with a high quality male 4) Females are bet hedging against sterility of previous males.  5) Sperm competition allows the best sperm/male to win producing fitter young 6) Females increase the genetic variability in their offspring.

Voight, J., & Feldheim, K. (2009). Microsatellite inheritance and multiple paternity in the deep-sea octopus (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) Invertebrate Biology, 128 (1), 26-30 DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7410.2008.00152.x

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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