10 Bizarre Mating Habits of Animals
Most everyone has seen a dog trying to breed, heard a cat mating late at night, or even been a human breeding. These seem quite normal, if not somewhat amusing. In each of these cases, there is a male, and there is a female, and they mate.
Not all animals procreate the way that is most well known to us. For instance, the praying mantis rips her mate's head off after it has attempted to make baby praying mantises, although most people have heard that one. Then some hippos fling their urine and feces by spinning their tail to attract their mates. As disgusting as that may be, the hippopotamus did not make the list of the top ten most bizarre breeding habits. You know which ones did? If you can answer these questions, then you know.
1. Which animals swallow their young?
2. What animal is the biggest breeder?
3. What animal does the male carry its young?
4. What animal has up to sixty young?
5. What animal puts their young up for adoption?
6. What lays their young in poop?
7. What animal’s genitals explode after intercourse?
8. What animal changes gender?
9. What animal urinates on its mate?
10. What animals are only females?
1. Which Animal Swallows Its Young?
Frogs seem to have unique breeding habits, although Darwin's Frog probably takes the cake. The male will swallow its young and keep the developing tadpoles in its vocal sac until they are ready to hatch. Usually, the female will lay around 30 eggs. After about two weeks of the males guarding them, they will swallow them into their vocal sac. Once the tadpoles reach a half-inch long, they are ready to leave and will hop into a nearby lake.
I wonder if the male ever accidentally ingests their young?
2. What Animal Is the Biggest Breeder?
The House Mouse
Mice and rats are by far our most prominent mammal breeders. Mice can start breeding at six weeks old and up to ten times in one year. Since they have five to seven young in a litter, that can be anywhere between fifty and seventy baby mice a year! The most common way a house mouse dies is in a trap. If we didn't set mousetraps, we would be knee-deep in mice.
3. What Animal Does the Male Carry the Young?
Male midwife toads carry the eggs on their backs. The female toads will lay the eggs in a string-like structure. The males will come along and wrap their eggs around their legs to protect them from hungry predators. Sometimes they will have more than one females egg string at a time. They will continue to carry these strings until the eggs are ready to hatch, in which case the male will then wade in a nearby pond until the youngsters can swim off on their own.
4. What Animal Makes Abnormally Large Nests with Up to Sixty Young?
Generally, the smaller the animal, the younger they have. Alligators are one exception. They will build huge nests that will fit up to sixty eggs. Not only do they lay that many eggs, but they care for their young for up to a year. So if you feel like your three little ankle biters are driving you crazy, you may want to think how a mama Alligator feels.
Another thing to note is that they do not mate until they are at least six feet long. The heat of the nest will determine whether the baby alligator will be a female or a male, which occurs between 7 to 21 days. Lower temperatures produce females hotter (above 86 degrees) will produce males. Usually, there are five females for every male alligator.
5. What Animal Puts Their Young Up for Adoption
Animals That Put Their Young Up For Adoption
Cuckoos do not build their own nest. They will find a nest of a smaller bird and lay its egg in the bird's nests, even if it means pushing out one of the other bird's eggs to fit their own in the nest. Despite being larger than the birds from which they use the nest, their eggs are relatively small and can easily be mistaken for one of the nest owners' eggs. In many cases, the cuckoo doesn't even care for its own baby bird. The "adoptive" mother will help feed the bird, but not always.
Not all cuckoos are like this. Some do make their own nests and care for their young.
6. What Animal Lays Their Young In Poop?
The Dung Beetle
A Dung Beetle wins the award for laying its egg in cow excrement. What a fitting name for the creature. Dung beetles are notorious for eating cattle poop, which is a good thing since it helps prevent the spread of diseases and filth. It's believed that dung beetles can eat an entire cow pie in 24 hours. Although they choose not to finish off the pile where they lay their eggs, they prefer a soft, warm landing so that the larvae will have something to eat when they hatch.
7. What Animal Does Its Genitals Explode After Mating?
Honey bees probably have the strangest breeding habits. The queen bee is bred in a special queen cell. Honey bees will fight their right to be able to mate with the queen bee. Worker bees will feed the queen bee a jelly substance until she becomes sexually mature. Once sexually mature, she will take a mating flight with ten or so male bees. Once the male bee mates with the queen bee, his mating organ explodes and is left inside the queen bee, acting as a plug to help keep her impregnated and not allow the other bees to mate with her. As you can imagine, if your breeding organ exploded, the male bee does die when this happens.
8. What Animal Changes Gender?
Clownfish are very interesting. In a school of clownfish, there are no specific genders per fish. There is one female, a breeding male, and many non-breeding male fishes. Gender is determined by which fish is the biggest. The biggest fish is the female clownfish, whereas the second-largest clownfish is the breeding male. If anything happens to the female clown-fish, the breeding male fish will become a female clown-fish, and the next largest male gets promoted to the breeding male fish.
So do you think Nemo's dad became his mom after she died?
9. What Animal Urinates on Its Mate?
Porcupines have a fascinating mating ritual. First off, the female is only willing to mate for 8-12 hours a year. Yes, I did say hours, and I did say per year. That was intentional. So the males will seek out the breeding females. When they feel they have found one, they will get about six feet away, stand up on their back legs, and urinate all over their would-be mate. If the female is not ready, she will squeal at the male and run away. If she is prepared, she will encourage him to come close and force him to mate until he is tired. She will find a new male porcupine if she is still in heat when he tires. They do not want their eight to twelve hours a year wasted, which will optimize their chances of procreating.
10. What Animals Are Only Female?
You may wonder how the male whiptail lizards feel if it's female on female reproduction? Well, he doesn't. Male whiptail lizards don't exist because they are all females. They reproduce by sliding against another female whiptail lizard. By doing this, they stimulate their eggs into reproducing. Then once produced, a new whiptail lizard was born, a clone of its mother. In this case, both females that rub against each other can conceive, making a clone of themselves.
© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz