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(Mother Nature Network)   Some of the awkward mating habits in the animal world that will make you feel much better about your lovemaking skills in college   ( divider line
    More: Strange, habits  
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7271 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Sep 2013 at 9:00 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-09-26 09:48:41 PM  
3 votes:
Not awkward enough.

I got this.

Bedbugs have a very promising mating ritual. The male has a knife-shaped penis that he uses to stab the female through the abdomen, cracking her exoskeleton and filling her body cavity with sperm.

Some species of weevil have a technique that, in addition to inseminating females, the males actively seek out and inseminate other males. Since they don't have eggs, those males become carriers of multiple strands of sperm. When they finally find a female, both sperms are deposited to battle for the eggs. So it's in a male's best interest to inseminate as many other males as he can to increase the odds of spreading his seed. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Why would animals do such a thing? Probably because of mating plugs, which are far more common and probably came first. A mating plug is a glue-like substance that the male secretes shortly after copulation to seal off the female reproductive tract, thereby securing reproduction rights. It's like pouring concrete in your woman's vagina after having sex with her. Many species use the mating plug , including some mammals like monkeys and squirrels (female squirrels have been known to pull it out and eat it). It is a better system than guarding the female against other would-be suitors because it frees up the male to leave her and inseminate other females, secure in the knowledge that only she can bare his offspring. Traumatic insemination was invented as a keen workaround: Bypass the female reproductive tract altogether by jabbing it in her stomach. This reduces courtship time but at a serious detriment to the female's health - it is occasionally fatal for her. Sperm competition is serious business in the animal kingdom.

Some species, like the golden orb web spider, forego the mating plug method and just tear off their copulatory organs in the female genital tract instead. They die soon afterward so they don't get to mate with anyone else but neither can the female with their junk permanently wedged up her hoo-hah. Male corn spiders do the same thing only they have a tendency to die mid-coitus and the female has to wander around with a dead male half stuck inside her.
To balance things out, not all sex in the animal kingdom is brutal, misogynistic rape. There are also plenty of examples of female sexual cannibalism. A multitude of species are known to eat their mates during coitus (and sometimes instead of), including spiders, scorpions, shrimp, crickets, midges, praying mantises and other insects.

The female betta fish is prone to eating her own eggs so the male frequently chases her away and he cares for them until hatching.

The female midge likes to grab her lover in mid air, stab her proboscis into his head and suck out his brain. This activates his mating cycle and he releases sperm for her so it's beneficial for him to die in this manner.

The female praying mantis operates along the same principle only she bites her lover's entire head off and eats it as a snack while they're having sex. Despite this, he is still able to finish - a clear indication that he doesn't need a head to have sex. So just like human males.

Garter snakes have a narrow mating window of only a few weeks so they tend to do it in groups of thousands. And by that I mean hundreds of males for every female. They surround her en masse and form a "mating ball" where each male competes to be the one to inseminate her. Then she wanders off and they all gang up on the next female that comes along. I'm sure there's a porn version of this somewhere.

Many birds are brood parasites, meaning they drop their eggs in other birds' nests thus alleviating any responsibility of raising the chicks themselves. The cuckoo bird frequently preys on the much smaller warbler, timing its egg drops so that the cuckoo egg hatches first in the warbler nest. The hairless, blind cuckoo chick then dumps the other warbler eggs (or chicks) over the side of the nest so that it can monopolize the feeding cycle. For some reason, the warbler parents continue to feed the cuckoo until fledgling as if nothing is wrong.

The cowbird has a similar pattern of behavior as the cuckoo only it frequently comes back to check on its eggs/chicks to make sure the target bird is taking care of them properly. If they are, the cowbird leaves them alone. If they aren't, the cowbird destroys the nest mafia style. I don't know why, but I find this absolutely hilarious.

Male cuttlefish often disguise themselves as female cuttlefish to get closer to other females and mate with them. I don't understand how this works, but they're cephalopods, and cephalopods can do anything.

Some species of female cichlids carry eggs in their mouths and perform oral sex on the males to fertilize them. Sounds reasonable to me. And while we're on the subject of fish, the freshwater mangrove rivulus is the only vertebrate in the world that is hermaphroditic and it can self-fertilize so it doesn't need to mate at all. It also has the unusual ability to live in trees for large portions of its life. Don't ask me how it does this.

When the whole animal kingdom is taken into account, consensual monogamous courtship is pretty rare. Most animals engage in abundant levels of rape, coercion, brutality, infidelity, homosexuality, situational sexual behavior, group sex, masturbation and explicit life-threatening and occasionally fatal sexual perversions - everything from cannibalism and necrophilia to castration and coprophagia and felching and everything in between - with clear conscience. Humans are the only ones who have socio-sexual morals. The law of the natural world with regards to sex is one of promiscuity and opportunism. Outside of that there are no laws.
2013-09-27 01:56:10 AM  
1 vote:

Ishkur: The female praying mantis operates along the same principle only she bites her lover's entire head off and eats it as a snack while they're having sex. Despite this, he is still able to finish - a clear indication that he doesn't need a head to have sex. So just like human males.

That's really more myth than reality.
2013-09-26 10:13:21 PM  
1 vote:
The whirligig beetles are wary and fast
with an organ to detect the ripples
the arachnid moths lay their eggs inside
other insects along the borders of fields or roads
in clusters of white cocoons
the ribbed pine borer is a longhorn beetle
their antenna's are half the length of their body
and they feed on dead red pine
robber flies with their immobile heads
inject a paralyzing fluid into their prey
that they snatch from life in mid-air
the snow flea's mode of locomotion
strange and odd
with a spiny tail mechanism with hooks
and a protracted tube from the abdomen
to enable moisture absorption

the female praying mantis devours the male
while they are mating
the male sometimes continues copulating
even after the female has bitten off his head
and part of his upper torso
every night wasps bite into the stem of a plant
lock their mandibles into position
stretch out at right angles to the stem and
with legs dangling they fall asleep

if one places a minute amount of liquor
on a scorpion
it will instantly go mad and
sting itself to death
the bombardier beetle
when disturbed
defends itself by emitting a series of explosions
sometimes setting off four or five reports in succession
the noises sound like miniature popgun blasts
and are accompanied by a cloud of
reddish coloured vile smelling fluid
it is commonly known that ants keep slaves
certain species
the so-called sanguinary ants
in particular
will raid the nests of other ant tribes
and kill the queen and then kidnap many of the workers
the workers are brought back to the captor's hive
where they are coerced into performing menial tasks

and as we discussed last semester
the army ants will leave nothing but your bones
perhaps you've encountered some of these insects
in your communities
displaying both their predatory and defense characteristics
while embedded within the walls of flesh
and passing for what is most commonly recognized
as human
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