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Bizarre Mating Habits: The Animal Edition

Mating

1. The Queen Bee and her Drones

A male honeybee (drone) exists for one reason- to mate with the queen. The bees have sex in mid air. A queen will be courted by a swarm of drones and the first to make his move, inserts his penis into the queen’s abdominal tract. The drone ejaculates with so much force that the tip of his penis ruptures and is left in the queen. After this the male falls to the ground and dies. A queen will mate with multiple drones, leaving a trail of dead drones. The male wasp spider employs the same mating strategy.

2. Flatworms

Flatworms are hermaphrodites, and would-be mates would fight over who gets to be the male. I too insist on being the boyfriend in all my relationships. The worms will settle this dispute with a sword fight, or penis fencing rather. Two flatworms would use their penises to try and stab each other. The first one to get stabbed with a penis becomes the female and the stabber is the male.

3. Whiptail lizards

These lizards have genetically mutated to completely eliminate the males of the species. When a lizard’s eggs are ready to be developed, another female jumps on top of the mature female and mock humps her. This kicks in fertilization. The females produce exact copies (females) of themselves as only those genes are passed on to the offspring.

4. Anglerfish

Once a male anglerfish is old enough, his system shuts down. This requires him to find a female to mooch off. Once a female is found, the male attaches himself to the body of the female by releasing an enzyme that bonds the bodies together. Once attached, the male releases sperm whenever eggs need to be fertilized. The male lives solely to find a female and mate. Quite the dedicated boyfriend if you ask me.

5. Clownfish

All clownfish are born male and live in schools with one female. The most dominant male of the group turns into a female and she mates with the second most dominant male. Once the female dies, the next most dominant male turns into a female. This transformation happens sometimes within a day. Try finding Nemo now.

6. Red-sided Garter Snake

A female garter snake releases a pheromone that attracts hundreds of males in the area to form a huge mating ball with the female at the center. This happens to be a tourist attraction in Manitoba, Canada. And like most snakes, a male garter has two penises. There is also a she-male garter snake that is male but releases pheromones just as females do. The reason is not clear but it may be for warmth and protection, maybe attention too.

7. Bedbugs

These little nasty bugs have developed a mating system called traumatic insemination. To mate, the male bedbug pierces his penis into the female’s abdomen and inseminates her.

8. Mantis

Over 90% of the predatory species of mantises participate in sexual cannibalism. The phenomenon is more common among underfed females. A female bites the head of the male either before, during or after sex and the headless male still gets the job done. Sounds like some of my previous relationships. A male’s body moves more vigorously during sperm delivery. The male exchanges his life for sperm and nutritional support for the mother and would be offspring.

9. Desert Spider

The female desert spider mates with multiple partners. Sometimes, males destroy the egg sacks of the female that have been fertilized by other males. The males detach the egg sack and drop it to the ground. In most cases, a mother protects her eggs before and after they have hatched. The mother produces a digestive enzyme that starts to digest her insides (except the heart, guts and ovaries). The mother then regurgitates her inside fluids for the next two weeks to feed her offspring. When the offspring are bigger, at the end of this cycle, they eat the body of the mother.  

10. Cichlid fish

After a female cichlid lays her eggs, she carries them around in her mouth. Because of this, some males have developed spots on their tails that resemble eggs. A male swims by a female, and the female thinks she dropped some of her eggs. The female then tries to suck them in. When she does, the male fish ejaculates in her mouth (with the eggs). Presumably, while his friends record and post it online later. 

Do read the Tigers: An endangered species.

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