Featured Creature: Worms That Stab Their Own Heads to Reproduce

One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do, unless, of course, you’re a hermaphroditic worm.

The free-living flatworm Macrostomum hystrix prefers to mate with others of its species; but if placed in isolation, the independent worm will do the nasty on its own for the sake of reproduction. Unfortunately, there’s still a price to pay for being a loner: In order to self-inseminate, worms have to inject sperm into their own heads.

It’s a gruesome reproductive technique that scientists

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