Nature is weird. It has species that are capable of having regular sex, or at least sex that’s very similar to ours, and it also has species whose mating habits include death and decapitation. While we’re not biologists and don’t understand the reasons why all of this happens, we are certainly interested enough to do some research on the topic and compile a list of the 10 weirdest animals when it comes to their sex habits:
We’ve all heard of birds and bees but as it turns out, male birds don’t have penises and their sex is super weird, which kind of invalidates that whole euphemism. Male birds have cloacas, body cavities that are responsible for intestinal, urinary and generative features. When the time for sex comes, the cloacas swell and produce semen, which the male birds later rub onto the female ones. Very cute.
These bees have sex in orgies, were the males gather around the queen bee, the only fertile female, and wait for her to select them to have sex. These male bees, after they’ve been used, die. Biologically, honeybees are super interesting, like they belong in Game of Thrones. There’s only one fertile bee, the queen, and the males only exist to impregnate her. The other female bees, the ones who actually do the work and maintain the hive, are sterile.
Snails are hermaphrodites, with both female and male sexual organs, which makes for some very interesting sex. When courting begins, snails circle each other to get in the mood. Then they shoot sharp calcium structures at each other, with the purpose of uniting themselves. That escalated quickly. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and these sharp objects can pierce the Snails and hurt their organs. If they manage to survive the sex, the snails will transfer sperm onto each other and someone will get pregnant. I think.
After hibernation, when the female awakens, males gather around her and try to court her, creating “mating balls”, a Shakesperean brotherhood of sorts where they compete for the girl’s affections. These males have several tricks up their sleeves to get the female. They can secrete a female pheromone to confuse the other males and they can also release de-oxygenated air to try to suffocate the female and take advantage of her. Being a woman is hard.
Dolphins are very smart and similar to us, even engaging in homosexual behavior proving that sex for them is rooted in pleasure instead of procreation. They can also be pretty nasty, “herding” females, a process where male dolphins gather around her and hurt her until she’s submissive.
Female praying mantises might be the most terrifying creatures on Earth. The male mantis does a dance for the female, where she decides if she may want to sleep with him. If she doesn’t find him attractive, she kills him, no biggie. If the couple engages in sex, male mantises are still in danger because 5 to 30 percent of them end with their heads ripped off, during or after sex.
This little marsupial lives long enough to have sex only once in his life. Males will focus all of their energy for two or three weeks for reproducing, until their organs die of exhaustion. As for the females, they can live up to three years but they usually die after giving birth to their first litter.
Male octopus don’t have penises, they have an extra arm that transplants “sperm packets” onto the female octopi. Their male organs are internal. The existence of this arm is for protective reasons, because the female has a cannibalistic tendencies and its best if they stay away from her. For their safety.