Q:

How do squid reproduce?

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Quick Answer

Squid engage in internal fertilization, but rather than using a penis for the transference of sperm cells, the males place a packet of sperm cells, called a spermatophore, into the female’s mantle, or body cavity; however, individual squid species exhibit variations on this general model. Shortly after this sperm transfer takes place, the female excretes fertilized eggs into the water.

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Full Answer

Many male squid species possess long, specialized tentacles or arms for transferring spermatophores. In many cases, these tentacles break off once inside the female. Some species engage in elaborate courtship rituals that feature a “mating dance” and stunning visual displays in which the squid change colors rapidly. Females of some species only mate with one male while others are polyandrous and mate with up to three different males at three different times. In some species, the largest males are the most successful breeders while in others the males are not even as large as the females.

Most squid are semelparous, meaning that they only breed during one season before they die. While some species live long lives and are capable of breeding in consecutive seasons, many squid species experience a very high mortality rate. This makes it rare for squid to live long enough to breed twice.

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Related Questions

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    How do squid breathe?

    A:

    Squid breathe by drawing water through their siphons into their mantles, the large muscular coverings over their bodies, where it passes over their two sets of gill filaments, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide via diffusion. The blood that absorbs the oxygen uses a copper compound, haemocyanin, rather than the iron-containing hemoglobin of mammals. The blood is pumped to the gills from two branchial hearts and elsewhere by a third.

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  • Q:

    How many legs do squid have?

    A:

    Squid do not have any legs at all, but they do have eight arms and two tentacles, making for a total limb count of 10. All cephalopods have at least eight limbs, but only squid and cuttlefish have true tentacles.

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    How do squids get oxygen from the water?

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    Squid extract oxygen from the water using gills, just as fish do. These gills are located in the squid's mantle, the soft but muscular cavity behind the squid's head.

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    How does a squid move?

    A:

    A squid moves using a system of jet propulsion, pulling water into its mantle cavity, contracting the muscles of the mantle wall and expelling the water through its siphon or funnel. Its fins aid maneuverability and also help with lift and motion while the squid travels at slow speeds.

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