mating rituals

15 Stories

This Spider Can Eavesdrop on Its Sexual Rivals

Not only is courtship a learned behavior, but spiders pick it up quickly

(Newser) - It doesn't take much observational power to note that spiders have tiny brains. Really tiny. So the recent finding out of the University of Cincinnati —that they learn how to court mates by eavesdropping on the competition—is all the more impressive. "It’s a complex set... More »

Sexed-Up 'Bachelor' Birds Could Save Their Species

Single male hihi birds can cut down inbreeding, ensure genetic diversity

(Newser) - Is the male hihi bird native to the Jersey Shore? Because, like The Situation and Pauly D, the single male birds in this endangered species (they're actually only found in New Zealand) are decidedly boorish, creeping for already taken ladies to mate with. But this actually might save the... More »

Male Hummingbirds Stab Each Other in the Throat for the Ladies

Scientists say males use their long, sharp beaks as weapons in mating ritual

(Newser) - Bigger is better if you're a male hummingbird. Scientists have discovered that males grow longer, sharper beaks than females as they age—which they then use to stab each other in the throat during an elaborate mating ritual, according to research carried out by University of Connecticut scientists. The... More »

Some Male Marsupials Die After Marathon Mating

14-hour sessions take everything out of them: Study

(Newser) - Some male marsupials have quite the end-of-life experience: They "mate themselves to death," explains the lead author of a new study in the journal PNAS . Researchers found that in some insect-eating species, the males buck themselves up for one grand finale, then mate with as many partners as... More »

Female Frogs Favor Mates Who Multitask

Scientists conclude so after listening to mating calls

(Newser) - Researchers listening to the mating calls of frogs over and over think they've stumbled across a lesson that can be applied to humans: Females prefer multitasking males. The University of Minnesota study reached that conclusion by breaking down the calls of a species of gray treefrog, reports Nature World ... More »

'Gay' Penguins to Be Split Up at Zoo

Officials want Buddy, Pedro to mate with females

(Newser) - A pair of "gay" penguins will be split up by the Toronto Zoo so that they can have chicks—with females. The so-far inseparable males “will be put in with a specific female so they have the chance to get to know one another, and if they bond,... More »

Check Out Spider Nureyev

Silken moves intended to impress a lady

(Newser) - Move over, Black Swan. The best dancing films feature a tiny creature that could get smooshed on the bottom of Natalie Portman's ballet slipper. But the jumping spider cuts astoundingly impressive moves when a male is determined to impress a mate. NPR calls the ritual a "magnificent demonstration... More »

The Dark Past of Valentine's Day

Roman festival involved voluntary beatings for fertility

(Newser) - Valentine's Day may seem awash in saccharine, wine, and roses, but its origins are darker than its modern-day Hallmark reality—they lie partially in the pagan Roman celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival wherein bachelors sacrificed a goat and dog, ripped the skin off, and whipped women with them. Women... More »

Nic Cage: I Eat Animals That Have 'Dignified' Sex

Cage has certain ideas about how animals procreate

(Newser) - Nicolas Cage can always be counted on for bizarre behavior, and his latest has to do with his strange eating habits. The actor has a “fascination” with all animals, the Sun reports, but it goes a bit further than that. “I actually choose the way I eat according... More »

Salamanders Get Help Crossing the Road

To mate! With some help from human friends

(Newser) - Salamanders are getting an assist this mating season from volunteers who shepherd them across dangerous highways, the AP reports. Hundreds try to cross between forests and vernal pools this time of year, and human escorts—also known as bucket brigades—have popped up along the East Coast to keep them... More »

Mating Calls Bare More Than Desire

Courtship 'song' of desert creatures conveys complex info

(Newser) - Like human songs, animal calls are said to spur courtship, but what exactly does each wail and snort signify? To find out, a pair of Tel Aviv zoologists studied the mating songs of furry little rock hyraxes in the Judean desert. The researchers found that male hyrax courtship "songs"... More »

Mosquitoes Sing Love Songs

(Newser) - Birds and bees get all the attention, but mosquitoes have some love moves all their own, scientists say. It seems that when a boy mosquito meets a girl and things turn romantic, their wings beat at precisely the same speed to create a sort of harmonic mating song, the BBC... More »

Sundance Abuzz With Bug Porn

Rossellini stars in Sundance Channel's take on mating practices of bugs

(Newser) - For those unclear about the birds and the bees (the actual ones), the Sundance Channel is screening “green porno videos” on its website, reports Mother Jones blogger Jen Phillips. The series features Isabella Rossellini, breaking out of her usual indie cocoon, carrying out the mating rituals of the snail,... More »

Kinky Octopus Sex Startles Scientists

Aquariums apparently don't put them in the mood

(Newser) - Octopuses are sexier in the wild than in the aquarium, report stunned researchers who snorkeled among the frisky cephalopods for several weeks in Indonesia. Some Abdopus aculeatus males employ deceit, mimicking females with their changeable colors and sneaking up on them from the reef bottom. Others jealously guard their mates,... More »

Monkeys Swap Grooming for Sex

Male macaques groom for longer when fewer females are around

(Newser) - What price for a little lovin'? Male macaque monkeys pay for sex by grooming females, but only as much as necessary: They groom for longer when fewer females are around, and for less time when there are more, according to a new study. "In primate societies, grooming is the... More »

15 Stories