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First encounter with a live male blanket octopus: the world ’s most sexually size-dimorphic large animal
Norman, M.D.; Paul, D.; Finn, J.; Tregenza, T. (2002). First encounter with a live male blanket octopus: the world ’s most sexually size-dimorphic large animal. N.Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 36: 733-736
In: New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. Royal Society of New Zealand: Wellington. ISSN 0028-8330, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Norman, M.D.
  • Paul, D.
  • Finn, J.
  • Tregenza, T.

Abstract
    The first encounter with a live male blanket octopus, Tremoctopus violaceus Chiaie, 1830, illustrates the most extreme example of sexual size-dimorphism in a non-microscopic animal. Females attain sizes of up to 2 m long—almost 2 orders of magnitude larger than the 2.4-cm-long male. Weight ratios between the sexes are at least 10 000:1 and are likely to reach 40 000:1. Sexual selection and the unique defensive strategy of carrying cnidarian stinging tentacles may both have contributed to the evolution of this extreme size-dimorphism. Such dimorphism is not seen in any other animal remotely as large.

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