Animal Sex: News and Features

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.

  • Why Marsupials 'Mate Themselves to Death': Better Sperm

    Why Marsupials 'Mate Themselves to Death': Better Sperm

    October 07, 2013 | Article

    Live fast, die young. Males of some insect-eating marsupials survive less than a year before mating until they die. They follow this strategy to increase the number of offspring they can sire, a study shows.
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  • Not in the Mood: Storms Quell Insects' Appetite for Sex

    Not in the Mood: Storms Quell Insects' Appetite for Sex

    October 02, 2013 | Article

    For insects like aphids, a raindrop on their head is like a refrigerator falling on a human, so it behooves them to detect stormy weather and avoid such naughty acts.
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  • Animal Sex: How Kangaroos Do It

    Animal Sex: How Kangaroos Do It

    October 02, 2013 | Article

    Unlike many other animals, kangaroos have sex for a long time — up to 50 minutes. And the female has three vaginas, two of which are inseminated by the male's double-headed penis.
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  • Animal Sex: How Seahorses Do It

    Animal Sex: How Seahorses Do It

    August 27, 2013 | Article

    Seahorses have a sex role reversal, where males get pregnant instead of females. But how do they actually get busy and get pregnant in the first place?
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  • Gender-Bending Bugs Avoid Stabbing Sex

    August 23, 2013 | Article

    Females of two bug species may have figured out a way to lessen their chances of being on the receiving end of their species habit of "traumatic insemination."
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  • Why Insects Have Gay Sex

    Why Insects Have Gay Sex

    August 15, 2013 | Article

    Homosexuality has been found in a wide range of animals, but it is not well understood in the insect world. A recent review of insect homosexuality shows that, for the most part, it occurs as a mistake.
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  • Animal Sex: How Birds Do It

    Animal Sex: How Birds Do It

    July 25, 2013 | Article

    Sure, birds can fly, but how do they have sex? Can they do it in the air? And where do they keep their reproductive organs? For humans to understand bird sex, they must first put all thoughts of mammalian sex organs out of their heads.
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  • Not Impressed: Peahens Ignore Most of Peacocks' Flashy Displays

    Not Impressed: Peahens Ignore Most of Peacocks' Flashy Displays

    July 24, 2013 | Article

    Though peacocks put on some of the most striking courtship displays, their potential mates, the peahens, almost always gaze at just the lower part of the peacock's train of feathers, particularly below the neck.
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  • The Pain of Love: Shark Ray Dies from Mating Injuries

    The Pain of Love: Shark Ray Dies from Mating Injuries

    July 24, 2013 | Article

    The Newport Aquarium in Kentucky announced the death of its latest acquisition, a shark ray. The exotic-looking fish — also known as a bowmouth guitarfish — was killed during the act of mating by an amorous male.
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  • Animal Sex: How Blue Whales Do It

    Animal Sex: How Blue Whales Do It

    July 24, 2013 | Article

    Scientists have never documented blue whales mating, but they know there is a dating period where a male follows a female for weeks on end. And sex is not a forgone conclusion for the couple, it seems.
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