With humans, it’s easy: boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy and girl go on a few dates (you decide the appropriate number), boy and girl mate. But in the animal kingdom things get complicated and weird. So, here are ten weirdest animal mating rituals ever.
1. How flatworms take turns
In case you did not know it, flatworms are hermaphroditic, which means that they are capable of being the male or female during sexual reproduction. But how do they decide which one plays a certain role in the mating ritual? In order to establish who is the girl and who is the boy, the battle it out by using “penis fencing”: using their penises as swords, the two flatworms fight to see who is going to get pregnant, which is accomplished by stabbing the other in the underside.
2. The Bonobo monkeys mate for all sorts of reasons
The Bonobo monkeys have found the recipe for eternal bliss: sex, which they use all the time, as a form of greeting, for conflict resolution or to celebrate when food has been found. They are the only species observed, besides humans, having sex face to face. And that’s not all: they also enjoy kissing, oral sex, same-sex hand jobs and lesbian and incestuous relations.
3. Bowerbirds know how to get the ladies’ attention
Male bowerbirds build elaborate and colorful shrines in order to attract potential mates. These shrines, called bowers, have been found built with all sorts of items from flowers, berries and seashells, to plastic pieces, coins, broken glass. Then a female chooses her mate based on his artistic skills.
4. Giraffes need a taste
When a male sees a female giraffe, he performs a procedure known as the “fleshmen sequence” in order to see if she is in estrus. It goes like this: he nudges her rump to induce urination ad then he takes a mouthful of urine (bleah!) to see if it is delicious or not. If it is to his taste, he begins to court her, meaning that he follows her around until she gives in.
5. Porcupines are also into urine
In our list of weirdest animal mating rituals we had to include that of the porcupines. You would think mating between these sharp animals would be hard, but it’s not. The hard part is finding a ready and willing mate. So, a male will drench his potential lover in urine, often at high velocity and from a distance, just like a shower. If she’s not interested, she’ll whine and shake off the shower, but if she’s into it, she’ll expose her underbelly and mating can begin.
6. Female hippos like to see male hippos poop
That’s right! The animal kingdom is filled with species that enjoy urinating and defecating before the mating ritual. And it is the same with hippos. Male hippos positions themselves in front of potential mates and they will start urinating, defecating and spraying all sorts of disgusting things. And wouldn’t you know it: the bigger the poop, the bigger the chances to mate. It’s a strange world.
7. Bedbugs are into traumatic insemination
There is no love making in the mating ritual of bedbugs. Partners don’t even touch each other’s sex organs. Instead, a male bedbug uses its scimitar-like sexual organ to impale the female bedbug’s body and deposit its sperm. Talk about traumatic! Somebody should teach bedbugs how to be romantic. Any monkey volunteers?
8. Hooded seals count on their nose
When it comes to expressing preferences, male hooded attract females with nasal balloons. Male hooded seals have pinkish-red nasal cavities which they can blow up just like we do with bubblegum. And the blowing is not enough: the make will start bouncing the nasal balloon around to get attention. And it works.
9. Red velvet mite and their elaborate love creations
The male releases sperms on twigs to form a sort of “love garden”. When a female stumbles upon the garden, she will follow it to seek out the “artist”. If she likes his work, then she will sit on the sperm. However, if another male spots the garden, all hell breaks loose: he will trash it and lay his own instead.
10. Anglerfish do it like on Shutter
Not on our list of ugliest animals on Earth, but even this weird-looking anglerfish deserves love. If you remember the movie Shutter where (spoiler alert) the main character ends up with a ghost attached to his back, know that something similar happens with male anglerfish.
Male anglerfish are not that evolved and so they have to find a female to attach themselves to, or die. After attaching, their circulatory systems merge and she provides him with sustenance, while he provides her with sperm.
We hope you liked our top on strange animal love. Are there any other weird animal mating rituals you know?