FOR HUMAN BEINGS, the beginning of spring means longer days and warmer weather. For the animal kingdom, it’s that amorous time of the year — mating season.
Just last week, Lu Lu and his panda partner Zhen Zhen set a new panda sex record of 7 minutes and 45 seconds at the Sichuan Giant Panda Research Center. This week, he broke his own record with a new partner, Xi Mei, and a romp of 18 minutes and 3 seconds, earning him the name “Enduring Brother.”
When your parents told you about the “birds and the bees,” they probably didn’t get into the wild and wacky specifics of the actual birds and the actual bees. Well, allow us.
The mating habits among animals vary from one species to the next, ranging from kind of romantic to squeamishly weird to downright terrifying. There’s moonwalking and make-up sex, penis-fencing and post-coital cannibalism. We kid you not.
Here are some of the weirdest facts out there about animal sex:
1. Male bowerbirds build and decorate colorful nests or shrines to attract that special someone. According to PBS, these nests, or bowers, are built using bright and colorful objects including leaves, flowers, seashells, berries, plastic beads or coins.
2. Busting out their Michael Jackson dance moves, male manikins flap their wings and even do the moonwalk on tree branches to find a mate.
3. Bonobos, dubbed the “make love, not war species” by Dutch-American primatologist Frans de Waal, use sex to strengthen bonds and resolve conflict.
4. When it comes to the largest penis in the animal kingdom, whales take the top spot with penises that reach up to 10 feet in length.
5. Often mistaken for rocks, barnacles’ stationary positions make it difficult to fertilize when mating season comes around. However, a barnacle’s penis can extend up to eight times its own size which “blindly reaches into neighboring shells and deposits sperm inside.”
6. Male alligators spend their entire lives with an erection and have a penis that, according to National Geographic, “shoots out like toothpaste from a tube; and it bounces back because it basically has a rubber band attached to it.”
7. While most slugs mate on the ground, the leopard slug engages in hours of foreplay with its mate before secreting a strong line of slime on which the lovers dangle while they do the deed. If their sexual organs get stuck, the female will chomp off the male’s penis in a process called “apophallation,” essentially leaving it to live the rest of his days as a female.
8. If pandas are reluctant to mate in captivity, scientists have shown them videos of other pandas copulating to get them in the mood. It is basically panda porn. And it works!
9. Honey bees’ coitus is essentially sexual suicide. Known as drones, male bees compete for a chance to mate with a virgin queen. His victory, however, is mating with the female until his penis and entrails are ripped from his abdomen and he falls to the ground dead.
10. When a male praying mantis attracts a mate, he does a mating dance by flapping his wings and swaying his abdomen. If successful, the female responds by allowing him to mount her before ripping off his head and finally, devouring the corpse of her still-mating lover.
11. After a careful process of waiting and courting, male porcupines spray the female with urine to get her in the mood.
12. According to National Geographic, forced copulation is common among fowl. To avoid unwanted pregnancies, female ducks have a corkscrew-shaped vagina that spirals in the opposite direction of a male duck’s member and complex plumbing filled with dead ends. If he does try to forcibly impregnate her, she can contract the walls of her genital tract to signal that no means no.
13. Channeling their inner cupid, snails engage in extra long foreplay before shooting sharp “sperm darts” to impregnate their lover.
14. Like other marsupials, kangaroos have three vaginas — two to carry the sperm from the two-pronged penis of their mates to the uterus and one to give birth to the joey. It also has two uteri, which means, it is possible for a kangaroo to be “perpetually pregnant.”
15. Beware of the sexually frustrated dolphin. Contrary to their cute and cuddly reputation as the friendly neighborhood “Flipper” or a design element for many a tattoo, these intelligent creatures have been known to gang rape, kill their own babies and porpoises and even sexually assault humans.
16. Another seemingly adorable animal with a dark side is the sea otter. They have been known to kidnap, rape and kill seal pups.
17. Female jumping spiders have high standards when it comes to foreplay. If she isn’t satisfied with the male’s “complicated courtship dance,” she not only dumps him but devours him.
18. After copulating with multiple mates, a female chicken can ‘dump’ the unwanted male by ejecting his sperm from her body, go for the hunkier male in the coop and choose the father of her future chicks.
19. As if we didn’t despise these creepy crawlies enough, bed bugs take part in a particularly brutal form of copulation known as “traumatic insemination.” The male bed bug stabs the female in her abdomen with a hypodermic needle-like penis and injects his sperm which travels throughout her body cavity until it finds her ovaries.
20. The antechinus, a tiny rodent found in Australia, literally copulates himself to death. After 2-3 weeks of non-stop nooky, each lasting up to 14 hours, his body slows starts to shut down due to exhaustion, surging stress hormones and infections that set in. Even in their last stages, they still try to get in a last roll in the hay with reluctant partners until they finally die before they turn one.
21. If you’ve watched “Finding Nemo,” you’ll probably remember the frightening angler fish with its sharp teeth and a naturally lit lure to attract its prey. These are actually female anglerfish that are almost 10 times larger than their male counterparts. To copulate, the male bites into his mate’s body and fuses his body with hers, supplying sperm and drawing blood for nourishment for the rest of his life.
22. During coitus, the male black widow has to angle himself between her fangs to successfully do the deed. True to their name, however, female black widows often devour their lovers after copulation.
By: Hyacinth Mascarenha, GlobalPost
This article is syndicated from GlobalPost.