World experts in the field of natural sciences have today been dumbfounded by the sensational news that the sea slug has a detachable penis.
This unassuming little critter swims about aimlessly until an attractive female enters the picture. The male - let's call him Geoffrey - repeatedly circles her in a ridiculously camp mating dance. Should she - let's call her Marjorie - accept this invitation to intimacy, she will mirror his choreography with precision, subtlely embellishing it with her unique disco style.
The deed is done efficiently and without emotion. Marjorie swims off without a backwards glance. Having lost his vital member in the act of coitus, however, Geoffrey emerges a much reduced sea slug.
He takes himself off to a quiet place and has a little lie down for twenty-four hours. On waking, imagine, if you will, Geoffrey's utter astonishment on discovering he has developed a new penis overnight. Indeed, finding a penis where previously there had been none could prove fatal.
Analysis of the psychological impact on the sea slug of the initial loss is some way off yet. This remarkable study is in its infancy and new data is emerging daily, say scientists.