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Barnacles Throw Sperm At One Another To Reproduce

Since they spend their entire lives glued to one spot -- be it a rocky shore or the hull of your uncle's fishing boat -- barnacles have had to develop breeding techniques that let them get a little action without leaving the comfort of home. Those techniques, from the hermaphroditism that is common in most barnacle species to the enormous penises -- as long as four times the length of their own body -- boasted by the creatures have long fascinated researchers studying sex in the animal kingdom. One species of barnacle, though, has just been found to demonstrate a never-before-seen sexual behavior that will have biology students giggling into their textbooks for years to come. The practice, in which barnacles produce sperm and simply fling it into the water hoping for the best, is known as spermcasting, and if it's found to be widespread in other species, it could rewrite the book on barnacle sex.

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