Peacock spiders pee

How do animals have sex? 15 facts about the love life of animals

Love and sex in the animal kingdom - sounds like a boring documentary series? In fact, many animals have crazier and more brutal sex than you might think. We have collected 15 unusual sex habits from the animal world for you.

Praying mantises make heads roll

You have probably heard of this rabid sex practice: Female praying mantises sometimes bite off the head of their male sexual partners during sex. Researchers have not yet figured out the intention behind this. Some suspect that this makes sex longer or that the male thrusts harder and therefore increases the chances of reproduction.


Hippos distribute their excretions

Less life-threatening, but not necessarily more pleasant: In order to make a real impression, male hippos distribute their excretions in their surroundings. To do this, they turn their tail like a propeller while they urinate and defecate - and squirt the surrounding animals full.

Giraffes drink urine

Giraffes have a similar interest in body fluids. To check whether their sexual partner is currently fertile, the males simply sip the urine stream. Researchers found out as early as 1984 that the males rub the females' buttocks with their heads. The female giraffes then only pee a small amount for the males to taste. Apparently they recognize the hormonal balance of the female giraffe and know whether the sexual act is worthwhile or whether it is not fertile anyway. That explains the "Smithonian Magazine".

Porcupines also pee on each other

Being covered over and over with prickly spikes should be an obstacle to sex, right? In fact, female porcupines are - are they called prickly pigs ?! - ready for sex only a few hours a year. To find out whether he can land with her, the male porcupine pees over his female counterpart. Does she shake off the urine in disgust? No chance, buddy! But if she bares her lower stomach, you can start - and do it several times until both partners are exhausted.

Brutal animal sex: bed bugs swing the saber

Very few people are likely to have asked themselves how bed bugs actually multiply. The answer: pretty brutal. The males simply ram their penis into the females' stomach and release their semen. However, the wound usually heals quite well, for which a certain abdominal organ is responsible. Male bed bugs lack the organ - mistakes are therefore often fatal.

Screw ducks

"Screwing" is not a gallant term for sex. In ducks, however, the term describes the sexual act pretty precisely, explains the magazine "Mental Floss". When erect, the penis of the drake turns outward and resembles a corkscrew. Incidentally, the longest penis measured on a drake belongs to an Argentine black-headed rudder - at 42.5 centimeters.

The genitals of female mallards are also tortuous, but exactly in the opposite direction. Therefore, without the female cooperating, there is no sex in ducks. Other duck species have up to eight other entrances in addition to the vagina, which turn out to be dead ends. There the males cannot fertilize an egg. This occurs especially in species in which females are often mated with alien drakes when they are not wanted.

Jellyfish fertilize each other from a distance

Not in the mood for physical contact? Jellyfish seem to feel the same way. The males excrete their sperm from their mouths into the water. The female jellyfish then simply swim through the sperm. The egg cells are fertilized in the stomach or in special pockets in the mouth.

Snails are real endurance runners

In, out, ready? Not so with snails! They stroke, caress and bite each other for up to six (!) Hours before the hydraulic pressure is high enough and the males shoot “love arrows” in the direction of the female. They're covered in slime and full of calcium. Fired before sex, this is to ensure that as much sperm as possible reaches the female. However, snails are not particularly accurate: their arrows rarely hit the target.

The gray broad-footed pouch mouse is screwing itself to death

Reproduction at all costs - that is the motto of the male gray broad-footed pouch mouse. The rodents are endemic to Australia. During the mating season, the male conspecifics give everything to pass on their genes to the next generation. They can spend up to 14 hours with one and the same partner - this makes them even more persistent than snails. And: Most of the time it doesn't stop at one act. The mice mate with as many females as possible. Until their fur falls out, their immune system fails and blood floods their organs.

In this type of louse, the females have a "penis" and the males a "vagina"

Dust louse species Neotrogla lives in caves in Brazil. Perhaps this secluded living space is the reason for the reversed roles in terms of gender? Because with them the females have penis-like external reproductive organs and the males vagina-like openings. This contains the sperm that the female ingests via the process and leads to the ovaries. In contrast to numerous other animal species, the female takes the dominant role in the dust lice. It fixes the male under itself for up to 70 hours.

Snakes like orgies

The red-sided garter snake is a real magnet for men. After hibernating, it sends out a pheromone, which it uses to attract dozens of male conspecifics in the area. They then form a large ball through which the female snake winds. Sounds like a slimy orgy! Because the male garter snakes have a penis on either side, there are still more than enough chances of fertilization.

Are Humboldt Kalmar bisexual?

Male? Female? The Humboldt squids don't care about the sex of their partners. They simply mate with as many conspecifics as possible. To do this, they shoot both males and females with capsules that contain their sperm. They have between 300 and 1,200 of these ready to shoot throughout their life.

Incidentally, researchers have so far been able to prove homosexuality in more than 1,500 animal species. From an evolutionary point of view, it could make a lot of sense not to be too “picky” when choosing a partner - similar to the Humboldt squid.

The peacock spider is dancing for its life

It is so beautifully colorful! With its iridescent pattern on the trunk, the peacock spider is in no way inferior to its namesake. The females are hardly impressed by the colorful splendor. They expect a fervent dance performance before engaging in sex. Incidentally, a poor performance can end fatally: During the courtship dance, the female repeatedly pounces on the dancer - and often kills him in the process.

Long live the stepmother!

The Laysanal abatrosses in Hawaii live real female cohesion. Male birds are rare on the island of Oahu. The females are therefore often overwhelmed with hatching and caring for their offspring on their own. This is why two females often team up to form one pair of parents - sometimes for years.

This species of lizard doesn't need men

The females of the lizard species Aspidoscelis neomexicanus, which occurs in the US southern states of New Mexico and Arizona, are even more independent. At some point in the course of evolution, the males apparently turned out to be superfluous - since then, the species has got along well without penises and sperm. Instead, the females clone themselves, so to speak. They produce egg cells with twice the number of chromosomes that can develop into an embryo without fertilization.