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Motherhood is a difficult proposition – a reality that no creature manifests better than the snail. The hermaphroditic gastropod much prefers the relative freedom of fatherhood to the burden of carrying eggs, so their sexual encounters are less romance, more strategy. While the snails both use their penises to swap sperm, they both also have a ‘love dart’ with which to stab each other before sex, injecting hormones to help one’s sperm survive over the other’s. This short from KQED’s science documentary series Deep Look give a close-up, ultra-HD and immensely slimy look at one of nature’s most unusual mating practices. You can read more about the video at the KQED Science website.
Producer: Elliott Kennerson
Narrator and Writer: Lauren Sommer
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Sex and sexuality
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Film and visual culture
A Palme d’Or-winning animation toys with the way our eyes perceive light
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
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Witness the majesty of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second