20 Animals With Hilarious Mating Rituals And Sexual Habits
We all know how hard it is to find someone special—the dating scene is often cruel and pitiless. Sometimes we go to great lengths to win someone over, only to see our romantic gestures met with horrific indifference. It’s all a grueling process, but if we are tempted to complain, all we have to do is look to Mother Nature to gain perspective. As it turns out, nature is full of strange mating rituals, and the following list comprises several examples that will either make you laugh, scratch your head, or make you ill—or possibly all of the above—so read on only if you have a strong stomach.
These apes make love, not war. Rather than fight, these apes use sexual intercourse for nearly everything: they greet their fellow apes, solve disagreements, say sorry after fights, and even offer sex in exchange for food. And their sexual habits are varied. They kiss using their tongues, engage in oral sex, masturbate, and even have their own “penis-fencing” ritual.
Male Manakin birds know how to dance, and they do so to attract females. They will find a branch, and on it they’ll slide sideways and even backwards as if they’re moonwalking like Michael Jackson. What’s more, they’ll show off their booty by shaking their tail feathers.
For some time, zookeepers the world over could not get pandas to breed—the pandas just didn’t seem to care. Then one day, researchers in China showed pandas pornography—panda pornography, to be exact—and doing so got pandas in the mood. Now when pandas reach the age to reproduce, zookeepers show these pandas pornography as a sort of sex education.
A male bowerbird attracts a female by constructing a flashy home. He’ll decorate it with all sorts of items: stones, feathers, bits of flowers, bits of plastic and glass. Usually, the male will choose one particular color to decorate his bower with, such as red or blue. The males work for hours on their individual bowers, and they only take breaks to mess with other males’ bowers!
Red-Sided Garter Snake
Once a year, a female garter snake instigates an orgy. When she leaves hibernation, she’ll exude a pheromone that drives a horde of males wild and into a frenzy. All the males, which have two penises, will swarm around the female in an attempt to copulate. The mating process of these snakes is so bizarre that it’s a tourist attraction in Manitoba, Canada.
New Mexico Whiptail Lizards
All of these lizards are female. While not required to mate to lay their eggs, these female lizards will actually mimic sex as if one were male and one female, and doing so enhances the fertility of their eggs. What’s most interesting is that the lizard that plays the role of female will produce much bigger eggs.
White Fronted Parrots
These parrots are one of the few animals that actually kiss. When a male and female choose each other, they’ll lock their beaks together and then proceed to play with each other’s tongues. While this may appear adorable at first, something repulsive quickly follows: the male will throw up into the female’s mouth. While this may make us grimace, the regurgitation is actually a gift of food from the male.
Male hippos have a crude way of attracting females: they simply fling feces. A male hippo will position himself close to a female, showing his backside to her, and then he will proceed to urinate and defecate simultaneously. While doing both, the male will spin his tale like a helicopter’s blade to fling his excrement. If the female likes the display, they will proceed to mate in a nearby body of water.
Nursery Web Spiders
Male nursery web spiders often feign death when trying to win over a female. When a male pursues a female, he’ll offer a gift of food, usually an insect wrapped up in webbing. If the female favors the gift, she’ll let the male copulate while she eats, but if she doesn’t, her wrath will likely be triggered, which can lead to sexual cannibalism. In the latter case, the male then will proceed to feign death, curling up its legs while falling onto its back.
Male giraffes enact something called the “Flehmen Sequence”. Essentially, a male giraffe will swig a mouthful of a female’s urine to see if she is in heat and if she’s a quality mate. Sometimes the male will provoke the female to urinate by rubbing her back. But this is not the oddest quirk. As it turns out, if a female fancies a particular male, she’ll flirt with him to provoke the Flehmen Sequence.
The males of this species have a peculiar red sac under their necks, which they inflate to a mind-boggling size. And it’s not easy to inflate these sacs, which can take twenty minutes to do so. The males use these red sacs to attract females, who chose their mates based on the size of the males’ respective sacs. If a male wins over a female, he’ll cover the female’s eyes with his wings during intercourse to prevent her from becoming interested in other males.
On a Queen Bee’s one and only mating flight, she will copulate with countless male drones to store up a supply of male sperm. The male drones will swarm around her, competing, until one drone will catch her in mid-flight. The drones ejaculate with such force that their penises actually break off, which of course results in death.
Porcupines have a taste for some odd foreplay. First comes some nose-rubbing, and if the female likes it then comes the second test. The female will allow the male to urinate on her, and if she likes the pheromones, she will then let the male have intercourse.
Banana slugs are also hermaphrodites. The unfortunate thing for them is that sometimes their penises get stuck in each other during mating, so they are sometimes forced to practice something called “apophallation”; that is, they chew off each other’s male part.
Flatworms are actually hermaphrodites. To decide who will be the male and who will be female during mating, these worms enact what some scientists call “penis fencing”. They use their penises to fight with each other; and the winner is the one who manages to stab its opponent. And along with the stabbing, sperm is injected into the loser.
The males’ goal in life is to sniff out a female with their keen sense of smell. When a male finds a female, he’ll bite her, which releases a particular enzyme that initiates a process that fuses the male to female. He essentially shrinks and becomes no more than a small sac of sperm. When the female is ready to lay her eggs, she has the needed sperm to fertilize those eggs already attached to her.
Female hyenas actually wear the pants in their relationships with the males: they’re stronger, more aggressive, and they even have a pseudo penis (which is an enlarged clitoris). The unfortunate thing is that the females have to give birth through this appendage.
Male dolphins’ penises are something else. They are retractable and prehensile and can be used to investigate things. They have insane sexual appetites; they’ll go so far as to hump random objects and other creatures, such as sea turtles. When a pack of males find a female, they often force her to copulate.
This type of sea slug is a hermaphrodite; but unlike other hermaphrodites (which usually fight each other to establish male/female roles), sea hares will chain together to form an orgy and will happily mate for hours.
Fruit flies actually produce the world’s largest sperm, which when stretched out reaches about 2 inches in length (which is about 1,000 times longer than a human male’s sperm). This lengthy sperm was driven to be long by evolution: a female’s reproductive tract is very long, essentially an obstacle course that weeds out weak sperm with harsh chemicals.