zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog snails love

Cupid with a Slimy foot

The love life of snails

Terrestrial snails are generally slow moving and to many people rather uninteresting animals (unless, of course, you are French and an escargot fan). However, fact is that the slimy and sticky mucus that these snails are producing has not made them many friends and there are even folk, who find them disgusting. And yet, they possess a fascinating love life.
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You Hate Something?

So how about the animals: do they hate something too?

Somebody recently told me a vulgar joke about why cats hate dogs and dogs hate cats, but since I hate vulgarity I neither found the joke funny nor will I retell it. However, what the joke did, was to make me think whether animals can indeed hate and express such an emotion usually associated with human behaviour. Obviously, animals can express affection: the cat rubbing its head against your leg (or another cat’s head), dogs licking your hand, baby mice snuggling up to their mother and even a tame koi carp turning on its side to have its belly scratched. But is that love and if it is, is there also the opposite, namely hate? —>

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The Race of Life and death

Life is a continuous struggle – is there anyone who’d disagree? Life is a race, a race of the fittest to survive as Herbert Spencer observed 150 years ago after reading Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” opus. And it starts with the sperm. In most animal species the male gametes, also known as spermatozoa or spermatozoons, vastly outnumber the eggs and often the ratio is millions to one. It is therefore only an incredibly tiny percentage of sperm that are successful and meet, enter, and fuse with the egg cell nucleus to start a new individual. —>