In Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter, author Ellen Prager lets us know about all the things sea creatures do that people would never think of … well, maybe most people wouldn’t think of, anyway. Prager, a marine scientist and educator, was on NPR the other day talking about hagfish and sex and slime.
“When it (a hagfish) is threatened or in danger or gets injured, it produces — very quickly — huge amounts of slime,” says Prager. “In fact, they found that in just a few minutes, it can fill up seven buckets full of gooey, slimy gunk.”
And she knows stuff about lobsters, too, and we’re not just talking about food preparation. “The male lobsters use (urine) aggressively, but the female lobsters shoot it as a Love Potion No. 9,” says Prager. “She shoots when she comes up to a den that might have a male in it. She actually seduces him with her pee and instead of clobbering her over the head with his claw, he says, 'Come in, come in' and gets all touchy-feely.”
Her book has 217 pages of this stuff, and we might have to check it out.