10 Shocking and Bizarre Animal Sex Behaviors
The males of this species have a penis that is almost 8 inches long. They can fully extend it in 1/3 of a second! This means that females have a very short amount of time to escape if they don't want to mate with a particular male.
In order to not get raped, the females evolved a vaginal canal that twists and turns, blocking the penis from going completely in. The male can only impregnate the female if she relaxes all these muscles inside her! Biologists think this is the first evidence they've seen of evolution driving a competition in genitals.
Honey Bees are a pretty suicidal species. When you get stung by one, its stinger is detached from the body, leaving with it the bee's vital organs. So it dies. This is a pretty well known fact.
A more unknown one is what happens to male worker bees when they impregnate a female queen. When a Queen Bee is ready to mate, it takes flight with about a dozen of male drones. Think of it like an insect version of The Bachelor. However, the reward for the eventual male winner is not a rose, but a mating session with the queen that results in his death!
In order to prevent the other 11 drones from impregnating the queen, the male's penis snaps off and remains attached to her, acting as a plug that prevents any more sexual contact. So it dies.
The process, known as \"traumatic insemination\" is a practice used by mites and bedbugs, and a species of spider in Israel called \"Harpactea sadistica\".
In traumatic insemination the males pierce through the females\' body wall to inseminate directly into their body cavity. Their penises (or rather, the bug equivalent) are sharp like hypodermic needles (they\'re pretty terrifying to look at actually).
Female bedbugs have evolved with an abdominal region known as the \"spermalege\". The spermalege is a body part that is specially designed to be easily pierceable to minimize damage. Going through traumatic insemination reduces the overall lifespan of a female bedbug, but if they go through the spermalege their bodies aren\'t damaged to the point that it effects their ability to make more babies.
The Harpactea sadistica spiders, on the other hand, are much worse. The male spider will pierce through the female\'s abdomen repeatedly, making two long rows of holes. Sometimes several male spiders will join in. This method is clearly not very effective and this species of spider is slowly shrinking into nonexistence.
The picture? That\'s the expression that was on my face when I first read about this.
(source: 1, 2)
An elephant's penis can grow four to five feet long, nearly the size of full grown adults to put that in perspective, and has many uses besides reproduction. Because of their large size, it's necessary to have an extremely large penis for mating purposes.
However, what is interesting about these animals is how they use it in other aspects of daily life. When reaching for food at a tough angle or even just out of laziness, the elephant will purposefully erect their penis and use it as support. By doing this they maintain the stability they lose when reaching off balance.
Their penises are also used to swat annoying flies away from their sides when they can't reach or are too busy. Also, when an elephant has an itch on their stomach they simply swing their penis around to scratch it!
An insect called the water boatman can make loud noises with its genitals!
The water boatman is only the size of a flea, but it can produce a sound as loud as a lawnmower. This loud chirping sound is actually the sound of the male’s tiny penis rubbing against its abdomen. The sound is so loud, that scientists were convinced that it had to have been coming from a different bug when they first discovered it. This creature is now the loudest animal known to man.
There is a species of lizard that is all female!
These females are able to produce offspring by laying unfertilized eggs. This is uncommon in the animal kingdom, but not completely unheard of. There are 80 known species of unisexual animals, including species of fish, amphibians, and other reptiles. The most commonly-known are the whiptail lizards.
There are 12 species of whiptail lizards in southwestern North America. Out of those, 7 are unisexual (all female) and they reproduce through parthenogenesis (self-cloning, essentially). Scientists have hypothesized for years that these unisexual species came about from inter-species mating from different species of whiptails. Usually when two animals from different species produce a hybrid, the hybrid turns out to be sterile. Sometimes, the hybridization induces a mutation that allows for females to reproduce with parthenogenesis.
Recently, scientists were able to create their own species of all-female, self-cloning lizards in a laboratory by making a hybrid between two already existing species. This confirms the suspicion that the 7 unisexual lizards species came about through hybridization.
This type of octopus has very pronounced sexual dimorphism. This means that the male and the female of the species look very different. Think, for example, how male and female peacocks look very different. In the Argonaut's case, the male rarely grows to be larger than 2cm, while the female can be 5 times larger at 10cm. In fact, the dimorphism is so pronounced, that the female Argonauts were known since ancient times, while males were only described in the late 19th century.
Perhaps a more curious fact about this animal is that the males have a special arm called the hectocotylus, which they use to transfer sperm to the female. What they do is that the male's arm is inserted into the female, and then it's detached from the male!
The female literally cuts off the penis of the male when they mate. Until the males were discovered in the species, people thought that the hectocotylus was a parasitic worm!
The orb-web spider Nephilengys malabarensis has a very aggressive female. It's reported that in 75% of the cases, they kill and eat the male during sex.
As a precautionary measure, the males have developed a simple, but painful strategy. They break off their genitals. They remain attached to the female and keep pumping his seed.
The males aren't able to regrow anything. However, they ensure that no other males can mate with the female. They become better fighters and most importantly, they stay alive!
Read more about them here.
Because breasts are one of the most popular parts of the turkey to eat, farmers have bred turkeys that have larger and larger breasts over time. Most of the turkeys we eat come from artificial insemination for this very reason.
According to Kai Ryssdal, 82.6 percent of the turkey eaten each Thanksgiving is turkey that came from artificial insemination. Generally speaking, people’s favorite part of the turkey is the white meat, which comes from the breasts. So, turkeys are bred specifically for this purpose. Their breasts get in the way of sex and procreating, and thus, they must be artificially inseminated.
It may sound like this would be the likely outcome, but it still made national headlines in 2005! His name was Kenneth Pinyan and he was an engineer at American Boeing. The case has come to be known as the Enumclaw horse sex case and was one of the most popular read stories of the 2005 Seattle Times.
Pinyin had his friend video tape the sex act, and when he suffered a ruptured colon, he refused to go to the hospital because he was worried what it would do to his reputation. It was not until later that he was anonymously dropped off, however he died in the waiting room. After this incident, Washington officially banned bestiality.