WILD NATURE

Wild love: 11 bizarre mating rituals

Mother nature isn't always so nurturing. From bees that have up to a dozen partners at a go to slugs that lose their penises after sex -- and grow new ones -- here are the strangest sex acts in the wild kingdom. 

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Male anglerfish are more or less useless. Unable to defend themselves or get food. They do, however, have a great sense of smell, which they use to track down the much more capable female, at which point the male will attach itself to the female and eventually fuse into her anatomy, allowing his body to atrophy into nothing more than a ball of sperm.
Brauer, A.

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Bed bugs copulate via "traumatic insemnation." It sounds as bad as it is: the male bed bug will simply pierce the female's abdomen with his penis and inject sperm into the wound.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Flatworms are hermaphrodites, which means they have reproductive organs associated with both sexes. In order to determine who becomes the mother, two potential mates partake in an epic battle known as "penis fencing." As Wikipedia describes it:"The flatworms "fence" using two-headed dagger-like penises which are pointed, and white in color. The mating ritual involves a violent battle during which two hermaphroditic flatworms attempt to pierce the skin of one another with one of their penises. The "winner" is the organism that inseminates the other; the winner becomes the father. The sperm is absorbed through pores in the skin, causing fertilization in the "loser," who becomes the mother."
Jan Derk

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To attract potential mates, the male frigatebird has a throat sac that he can inflate (with much effort, it takes about 20 min.) into a giant heart-shaped balloon. Females will mate with the male with biggest and shiniest balloon. During sex, the male will cover the female's eyes with his feathers so she isn't distracted by other balloons.
Duncan Wright

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If a female porcupine accepts a male's advance (via nose-rubbing), she will allow him to urinate on her from head to toe. If she digs his pheromones, she'll expose her underbelly for 2-5 minutes so the male can do his business. If his pee isn't up to snuff, then, well, on to the next.
Berlin Zoologischer Garten

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The average 8-inch banana slug has an 8-inch penis, which explains their Latin name: dolichophallus or "big penis." Given the size of their manhood, it's important for banana slugs to find a mate of similar size. If it's too big, it could get stuck during copulation forcing the mate to chew it off. Yum.
Andy Goryachev

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For humans, long distance relationships can be hard. For emperor penguins, it's a way of life. Penguin couples spend the entire year apart and meet just once in March, sometimes traveling many miles to see their mate.
Michael Van Woert, NOAA NESDIS, ORA

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The sea slug Chromodoris reticulata sports a disposable penis that lies coiled up inside its body, ready to shed after each copulation.
Steve Childs

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Every year, when the female red-sided garter snake emerges from hibernation, she releases pheromones that attracts hundreds of male suitors resulting in a massive "mating ball." Such is the spectable of this squirming snake orgy that it's become an annual tourist attraction in Manitoba, Canada.
Robert Mason, professor of Zoology at the Oregon State University

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Dolphins have incredible penises. Not only do they retract, they swivel!

NASA

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In the kingdom of honeybees, it's all about the queen. On a typical mating flight, she will have sex with an average of 12 drones. Each drone will take turns mounting the queen and can mate around 7-10 times. When he's finished, he's literally finished. His barbed penis and abdominal tissues get torn off and he dies soon after. In an ode to their martyrdom, the queen stores the semen for the rest of her life.

Kadri Puna

honeybee-2.jpg

In the kingdom of honeybees, it's all about the queen. On a typical mating flight, she will have sex with an average of 12 drones. Each drone will take turns mounting the queen and can mate around 7-10 times. When he's finished, he's literally finished. His barbed penis and abdominal tissues get torn off and he dies soon after. In an ode to their martyrdom, the queen stores the semen for the rest of her life.

Jon Sullivan

Wild love: 11 bizarre mating rituals

Mother nature isn't always so nurturing. From bees that have up to a dozen partners at a go to slugs that lose their penises after sex -- and grow new ones -- here are the strangest sex acts in the wild kingdom. 

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