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Posts Tagged ‘mating rituals’

This Week in Love: Ain’t Nothing But Mammals

Monday, February 21st, 2011

by Becky Ellis

Birds do it, bees do it, and if you happen to be in London, you can see hyenas, flies and chimpanzees doing it, too. Last week, London’s Museum of Natural History opened its ‘Sexual Nature’ exhibition, which explores the mating habits of the wild kingdom. The display includes red deer stag, monkeys and hedgehogs, all positioned in ways that give new meaning to the words “mounted animals.” This not just a staid, scientific recounting of the mechanics of pollination, or a description of a peacock flaunting his feathers; this is graphic, 3-D animal porn.

There’s also a surprising narrative arc: In spite of strictly biological–rather than emotional–motives, animals’ mating games have plot points that could have been penned by Shakespeare himself, including jealous lovers, elaborate seduction rituals and sometimes tragic ends. The banana slug, for example, gnaws off its penis after intercourse, leaving it in the female so that no one else can penetrate her. A female spider might eat a male who fails to seduce her, or even bite off her lover’s head should she desire a post-coital snack.

Elsewhere around the web:

-A pair of white rhinos at the Madison, WI, zoo have spent nearly 40 years in a loving, but sexless marriage.

-Treehugger determined that men’s courtship rituals have devolved past that of their animal brethren, and compiled a slideshow of dating do’s featuring mating strategies of our fine furry and feathered friends.

photos courtesy of The Guardian

5 Freaky Animal Mating Rituals

Friday, January 7th, 2011

By Jennifer Latkiewicz
It may be a jungle out there but the dating scene could be worse – a lot worse. Here are 5 courtship and mating rituals from the animal kingdom so freaky, you’ll gain a special appreciation for even your most hellish dating experiences.

mating parrots

Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it — we’re not the only ones in the animal kingdom getting it on. But our courtship and mating rituals, as stupid and asinine as they may seem sometimes, simply can’t hold a candle to these totally weird animal acts.

5. Red-Sided Garter Snakes
During mating season, red-sided garter snakes engage in massive orgies, which is especially frightening considering they converge in groups of up to 30,000. When a female garter snake is ready to mate, she is immediately jumped by up to 100 males who coil around her to create a “mating ball,” which is just about as sexy as it sounds.

4. Flatworms
To decide who gets to wear the pants in the relationship, hermaphroditic flatworms engage in battle using their dagger-like penises, with motherhood forced upon the flatworm that is stabbed first.

3. Argentine Lake Ducks
Size does matter for the Argentine lake duck, whose corkscrew-shaped penis measures about 17 inches when stretched out. But the lake duck’s penis does more than win the envy of every other male bird in the locker room — it can also “lasso” females and brush away sperm deposited by previous suitors.

2. Hippopotamuses
Pretty boys need not apply. To impress the ladies, male hippos defecate while using their tails like a propeller, flinging filth everywhere.

1. Bedbugs
When it comes to mating, even deception is far too dignified for the male bedbug. Proving that chivalry is deader than dead, the male bedbug stabs unwilling females in the abdomen with his needlelike genitalia, inseminating her.

Thankfully, the male bedbug is as stupid as he is creepy, and will often make the mistake of trying to mate with other equally-creepy males, usually killing them in the process.

Suddenly, dry spells and single status don’t seem so bad.

Jennifer Latkiewicz is a Love/Sex blogger for Loving You. Follow her on Twitter at @jenniferlat.

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