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Barnacles ejaculate into ocean to fertilize distant mates, say researchers

January 16, 2013

Barnacles ejaculate into ocean to fertilize distant mates, say researchers

Researchers say barnacles leak sperm into ocean.

Although barnacles are firmly attached to rocks, they use their long penises to locate and fertilize distant mates. However, researchers from the University of Alberta think that barnacles also release sperm into the ocean to fertilize distant mates; a behavior known as spermcast mating.

“Barnacles are a highly studied animal,” says Richard Palmer, a marine biologist at the University of Alberta, according to Nature. “It’s exciting to us to find something so totally new in a group that is so extensively studied.”

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