Animal Sex

From an evolutionary and biological perspective, animals are driven to have sex in order to procreate. But there is a lot more to sexual relations between animals. Animal sex is at least as strange and varied as human sex. A male might copulate with many females. And female animals of many species can be choosy, too. Homosexuality is common. Monogamy is rare. And the animal kingdom is full of swingers. In short, with animals, sex can be wild.
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Animal Sex: How Platypuses Do It
An Australian duck-billed platypus swims in a rainforest creek.
May 26th, 2015
With the bill and webbed toes of a duck, tail of a beaver and body of an otter, platypuses are some of the strangest-looking animals on the planet. Their mating behaviors are just as odd, involving venom battles, tail biting and aquatic dances.
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Animal Sex: How Barnacles Do It
close-up of barnacles on rock
March 3rd, 2015
In calm waters, barnacle penises are long and slender, allowing them to reach the maximum amount of partners possible. But wave-exposed, intertidal locales favor stouter penises, which are more easily controlled under turbulent conditions.
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Animal Sex: How Anglerfish Do It
Anglerfish
January 6th, 2015
Anglerfish mating involves biting, tissue fusion and the complete lack of mate choice by females.
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Animal Sex: How Sloths Do It
A three-toed sloth in Costa Rica.
May 17th, 2015
Rather than mundane, lazy sex, sloths participate in quite the mating game. In fact, sloth sex involves high-pitched screams, promiscuity and eye-gouging battles.
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Sex in the Wild: 6 Ways Animals Do It
A North American porcupine
February 14th, 2015
Valentine's Day may inspire people to buy chocolates for their loved ones or treat their sweetheart to a romantic, candlelit dinner, but animals have entirely different courtship behaviors.
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Animal Sex: How Dung Beetles Do It
Dung Beetles
November 30th, 2014
Dung beetle sex involves short breeding periods, intense competition and, of course, poo.
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Geckos in Space! Lizards Are No Strangers to the Cosmos
Geckos Hand Roscosmos
July 30th, 2014
Geckos were research stars in space long before the outpouring of media attention that focused on their mission last week. Before space agencies can begin complicated experiments, scientists need to determine how these tiny lizards adapt to life in space.
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Big Butts Can Lie: Bootylicious Baboons May Not Be Most Fertile
Noodle, a female baboon from Kenya, shows off her bright-red, swollen bottom, signaling ovulation is near.
April 23rd, 2015
The swollen red bottom of a female balloon may not be the signal of sexual fitness that researchers thought it was.
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Animal Sex: How Octopuses Do It
Wild Octopus
February 2nd, 2015
Octopus mating involves shifting body colors, detachable "penises," long-distance mating and sexual cannibalism.
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How Sex Organs Get Their Start
Python embryo
November 5th, 2014
New research shows how external genitals arose from very different starting places for reptiles and mammals.
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