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Written by Sarah Bacher
Did you know that some animals when they mate actually fuse together, while others may lose their head? It's true! In fact, there are several animal species that mate in some bizarre and interesting ways. Below are five animals and an explanation of their mating rituals.
- Honey Bees: The Queen bee is in charge of mating with the drones from the hive. Once she reaches sexual maturity she will take to the skies with numerous drones from her hive to mate. Unfortunately for the "lucky" drones that do end up mating with the Queen, most will die because their abdomen tears open as their endophallus is removed after mating.
- Ostrich: The male ostrich is a dance machine when he's ready to move in on the ladies. As evidenced in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=85AmjpUZEZA) ostriches will perform a very strange love dance to woo their future mating partner.
- Flatworm: The flatworm is considered a hermaphrodite and may be able to act as father or mother to the next generation, depending on who wins a genital sword fight also known as the flatworms mating ritual. The male genitalia of a flatworm are used for mating as well as hunting. According to Alden Wicker of the Huffington Post, the flat worms have two sharp male genitalia that are used to stab the other flatworm to impregnate. Thus, the loser will act as mother carrying the offspring to term and giving birth to them.
- Anglerfish: The anglerfish takes the oneness of mating literally. The male anglerfish's goal is to find a female anglerfish to attach to and then slowly, literally waste away leaving only a vessel of sperm attached to the female for reproduction. Once the male anglerfish finds a mate he will attach himself to her with his teeth. The female anglerfish may carry six or more males on her body at one time.
- Praying mantis: The praying mantis is perhaps one of the most notoriously known living creatures associated with strange mating habits. While mating, the female praying mantis may at some point tear the head from the male's body. One reason as to why the female would choose to do this is that the male may actually be a better lover once his head is removed from his body.
Love is a many splendor thing and in the animal world it may also be dangerous. To love and safety!
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Anglerfish. (2012). National Geographic. Retrieved from http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/anglerfish/
Orkin. (2012). Mechanics of Honey Bee Mating. Retrieved from http://www.orkin.com/stinging-pests/bees/mechanics-of-honey-bee-mating/
Philadelphia Zoo. (2012). Ostrich. Retrieved from http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/zoo/Meet-Our-Animals/Birds/Penguins/Ostrich.htm
Thevyness. (2007, January). Ostrich Dance [video file]. Available from You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=85AmjpUZEZA
Wicker, A. (2010, November 9). Animal Mating Behavior: Painful, Deadly and Bizarre Rituals (PHOTOS). The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/09/painful-and-deadly-romant_n_775502.html#s167402&title=Praying_Mantis