How to Protect your Eggs from Kleptogamists

Some of you may be wondering what is up with Sneaky Fucker Week. The rest of you are most likely running away offended in the opposite direction. That is just as well. Things are not going to improve much going forward.

The Back Story behind the very sciency Sneaky Fucker Week:

Here is the premise, a posting by Andres Heinakroon to Amy’s Cat Urine Brain Cyst Blog:

‘Feline fatal attraction’ is a good one but it’s not the best. My favourite scientific term is the ‘Sneaky fucker strategy’, aka kleptogamy. It probably is rather self-explanatory but here goes: In species where males aim to gather a harem of females to mate with, there are two male strategies for successful mating.

The first one is to be as big and strong as possible in order to fight off the competition and win access to the females. This is however both costly and risky. You might spend more energy than you can replace, or you might get seriously injured.

The second strategy is to be a Sneaky fucker. This consists of avoiding any direct conflicts with the alpha males, and keep to the periphery of the harem of females. Then, when the leading male is busy fighting off any competing males, the Sneaky fucker male can sneak in and – well – fuck. And as long as he’s out of the way by the time the alpha male is back, he doesn’t risk getting into a fight.

It’s a brilliant strategy, and this is probably why it’s a very common strategy. So beware of the Sneaky fuckers.

The Challenge:

At this fateful moment, Ken, who knew EXACTLY what kind of chaos would ensue, tossed out THIS little remark:

This sneaky fucker business is seriously good enough to merit its own blogpost. Actually, I’d like to see each of you do something with this. Maybe we should declare sneaky fucker week and all write blogposts and make a festival of it.

I’ve always lived my life with the notion that if all the cool kids are doing it, there must be something worthwhile about the venture. So, when Andreas (@heinakroon), Ken (@lahikmajoe), and Amy (@lucysfootball ) started talking about Sneaky Fucker Week (#sneakyfuckerweek) on Twitter, I jumped on that bandwagon with no hesitation. However, now that I am on the band wagon, I am hesitating a bit.

Andreas (Heinakroon.com) published a very nice post focused mainly on moose erotica. I just call it moose porn because I like to trivialize great works of science. He is going to win the Nobel Prize, I bet, for his research. I hope he does, because then I will NEVER leave him alone about his moose porn prize.

Amy (Lucy’s Football) has already composed quite the riveting post on frat boys, mating frogs, and Justin Bieber’s red, moist lips.

Lisa, over at Random Thoughts of a Plum, with a “tendency to write blogs that are of a certain level innocence wise,” is a little concerned about venturing outside her comfort zone: “I have thought how I could possibly contribute to this sacred week when I can’t even bring myself to say the name of it in case Disney smacks me round the face for disgracing his hypothetical website.”

I fully agree. My blog is usually very tame and non-controversial. However, I am willing to venture forward in name of science. So, brace for impact….

Since Andreas apparently has all the moose porn covered, and Amy has covered frogs and Justin Bieber, I have decided to go with sneaky fish. And they are out there, don’t be fooled. I found this great research paper about the sex lives of fish. You can go read it here:

The sex lives of fishes by Stéphan G. Reebs

If you are short on time, or do not want to read it, I will summarize it for you. Just know that you are NOT in good hands.

Point 1. Sexiness is primary. Or primal. Either way

“Those individuals that did not care about reproduction died without transmitting their genes to the next generation, and their contempt for the reproductive enterprise died with them. In contrast, those individuals that had an innate taste for mating propagated that trait through the population.” Which explains all the porn on the Internet. Thanks, Stéphan, you have made it all so clear.

Point 2. Some fish are sexier than others. They can’t all be Brad Pitt, you know.

“Evolutionarily speaking, stakes are very high in the reproductive game. There is pressure on all individuals to leave as many viable descendants as possible in the next generation. One way of doing this is to choose a sexual partner of high quality.” Lisa (Random Thoughts of a Plum) describes this method as “luring the female of their species into bed with weight lifting and muscle flexing and eyebrow wiggling.”

“But for those individuals who score low in the mate choice game, there are other ways to pass on their genes, less flashy ways, tactics that are less straightforward, some might say less fair-play, but reasonably efficient nonetheless. Amy (Lucy’s Football) describes this as “the one who’s hanging out, willing to be your best friend, but always eyeing you a little too avidly” of fish.

This is where Stéphan introduces us to the “dirty little secrets of a fish’s sex life.” (I’ll bet you NEVER thought you would hear about dirty little sex life secrets of fish today.) “In almost all fishes, fertilisation is external. The male’s sperm and the female’s eggs are released from the body and they must meet in open water for fertilisation to occur. While they float in water, a female’s eggs are vulnerable to interception by the sperm of a male who may not be her chosen mate.”

Point 3. Sneaky fuckers have big balls. No, I mean LITERALLY.

“Sneakers make a special investment in their unconventional way of life. They develop huge gonads.”This is where I started cracking up, thinking about the sneaky fish with huge gonads. Feel free to take a break here and have a good laugh. We can wait.

Okay, stop laughing, there is some SERIOUS sciency stuff coming up here. Stéphan says, “The testes of sneakers can be up to seven times the size of the norm for the species. This is because sneakers practice sperm competition … the more sperm they release, the greater their chance of grabbing a good share of fertilisations. So, to produce more sperm, sneaker males invest into the development of big testes.” Grab it while you can little fishy with the big balls, grab it while you can.

Come to think of it, fish aren’t the only ones experiencing sperm competition. I read something once about how a gorilla has smaller penis in proportion to his body size because he essentially dominates a harem and has all the females to himself.  Chimpanzees, on the other hand, have larger penises in proportion to their bodies due to increased mating competition. So, if the sneaky fish have larger gonads, logically, the sneaking moose would have larger equipment as well. I will now test this hypothesis by searching for moose penis size on Google. Wait here….

…. okay, as you may have accurately predicted, googling ‘moose penis’ was very bad idea.  Due to my lack of primary resources, I will have to write the rest of this post based on what I already know about gonads. Now who around here would be investing in big testes? One group comes readily to mind.

How to Spot a Sneaky Fucker:

You may have read my post, “How to Improve your Karma,” in which I discuss the propensity of Texans to drive around in trucks hung with artificial ball sacs. You know… as if the truck has suddenly grown a pair of giant testicles. Since these guys, with their huge truck ball sacs, are the obviously the ones with increased capacity for mating competition, it follows that they are the sneaky fuckers. If you see a guy with balls attached to his truck, your eggs very well may be vulnerable to interception. So, watch yourself.

As a public service, I have included this t-shirt you can wear as a message to all the sneaky fuckers out there:

Another shirt that Zazzle will never let me sell. I don’t know why they hate me.

If you have a blog post for Sneaky Fucker Week, please alert me so I can include your link below. We need to make sure everyone is as informed on this situation as much as possible.

For Further Research:

The sex lives of fishes, Stéphan G. Reebs

Lucy’s Football: I’m a lover, not a fighter, and I’m really built for speed

Random Thoughts of a Plum: A project that I kind of accidentally fell into… an introduction to what will come and… Benjie: The story of a very sneaky little rascal.

Heinakroon.com: The art of kleptogamy

lahikmajoe: Duckie the quintessential sneaky fucker

About lgalaviz
All of this hardly seems necessary.

21 Responses to How to Protect your Eggs from Kleptogamists

  1. Lisa says:

    This might be the most awesome and informative thing I have ever been a part of. I’m telling everyone at work my new found fish information tomorrow.

  2. a says:

    I had no idea fish were so sneaky.

  3. julierosesmk says:

    Awesome, sciencey, & entertaining! Personally, I like the sneaky fucker strategy- under the radar…

  4. Pingback: I’m a lover, not a fighter, and I’m really built for speed « Lucy's Football

  5. Pingback: I’m a lover, not a fighter, and I’m really built for speed « Lucy's Football

  6. Pingback: The art of kleptogamy « heinakroon.com

  7. Pingback: The art of kleptogamy « heinakroon.com

  8. And now that I don’t have 53 comments to read through to figure out what the heck you sneaky fuckers are up to, I can compose a post of my own on the theme. Yes, I am sneaking into the sneaky fucker fray! Wait…. does that make ME a sneaky fucker? *ahem* Oh yeah… TOTALLY meant to do that!

  9. I remember reading something about fish gonads the other day, and I remember now what it was about: brain size. Apparently (and I know, starting a sentence with ‘Apparently’ cast doubt on it’s validity, but this is actually true. Honest!), Icelandic sticklebacks is the only species where the male brain is much larger than the female brain. This is possibly due to the female stickleback’s gonads being of enormous size, up to 40% of the body weight. There is no energy left to waste on building an expensive big brain as well.

    And to prove the point, some of the male sticklebacks have reduced their brain size to increase the size of their gonads instead – are those the legendary sneaky fuckers?

    • I am not at all surprised that males are decreasing brain size to increase gonad size. If this was an option offered to males, I think a large number of them would be all “check check CHECK sign me UP!” Sigh.

  10. I think sneakers with big gonads is a funny idea. Not “sneaky fuckers.” SNEAKERS. The kind you wear. On your feet. With big ol’ gonads hanging off the back. FUNNY.

    “their contempt for the reproductive enterprise died with them” – I like to imagine these fish as the kind of fish who are all “I don’t even OWN a television, TV is for THE LOWER CLASS.” I’m glad they died out.

    Sneaky fucker week has proved very informative. Not only are we dominating science on the internet and I’m sure we will be written up in many scientific journals, and probably get an award of some sort, which I will accept, but humbly, you know, as you do, so as not to look arrogant. BUT, we’re also educating people about sneaky fuckers, so as to better prepare them for LIFE. I mean, I was explaining the theory to some people at the theater last night? Even though I don’t think they wanted to know about it and were just being polite? And they had no idea it even EXISTED. That’s a travesty. We’re doing the world a SERVICE.

  11. Gigi says:

    I’ve always had a sneaky feeling that there were a lot of sneaky fuckers out there….now I know.

  12. Pingback: Duckie the quintessential sneaky fucker « lahikmajoe

  13. Blogdramedy says:

    I’m a sneaky fucker. I named you in a blog post and gave you something good. Uh-huh. :-)

    http://blogdramedy.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/fragile-thats-italian-for-awesome/

  14. Handflapper says:

    Somehow I missed all this sneaky fucker talk, for which I am quite sad, yet I still received a Sneaky Fucker Award. I must be such a sneaky fucker I sneaked up on myself.

    I love your blog. It’s so educational and entertaining. It’s a real gift to be both.

  15. lahikmajoe says:

    Oh, I thought I’d commented here.

    This blogpost was one of the high points of Sneaky Fucker Week. Really funny stuff.

    ‘I’ll bet you NEVER thought you would hear about dirty little sex life secrets of fish today.’ Well, normally this is the case, and it certainly was on the day I first read this. But this is my second or third visit. I knew very well what was in store for me when I came calling today.

    I did take another moment to laugh about the fish with the big gonads. Thanks for making time for that one. I needed it.

    Oh, and thanks for including a link to my Sneaky Fucker Week contribution on your list. It’s been a pleasure being a part of this over the last few weeks.

  16. edrevets says:

    Not sure is this was:

    a. a guide on how to be a sneaky fucker

    b. a week celebrating the sneaky fucker or

    c. warning against sneaky fuckers.

    I would go reread it but I’m going to dinner in 5 and a half hours. The phrase sneaky fucker does have good rhythm, though.

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