5 – Bowerbirds’ Mating Ritual,
- Remember in The Notebook when Ryan Gossling builds Rachel McAdams a beautiful house? Well, he totally stole the idea from the king of romantic gestures: the male bowerbird. Male bowerbirds are the ultimate home designers of the animal kingdom.
- To woo potential mates, they build elaborate colourful shrines called ‘bowers’ which are decorated with all kinds of bright objects, like flowers, berries, shells, pieces of broken glass, plastic beads, coins or even bullet shells. They aren’t just randomly placed either; each group of item is meticulously arranged by colour.
- As well as building his own empire, the male bowerbird also goes out to steal from, vandalise or even outright destroy the nests of his neighbours to draw more attention to his own. The female bowerbird then chooses her mate based on how impressive his pad his.
4 – Flatworm Penis Fencing,
- The sea is full of many weird and wonderful creatures, but the flatworm takes the award for strangest mating ritual! It seems these guys like the rough stuff, as they use their two dagger-like penises as weapons! The ritual is called penis fencing and involves the two love worms trying to stab each other into submission while avoiding being stabbed themselves.
- Flatworms are hermaphrodites, which means they can either inseminate or be inseminated. So, effectively, they face off with their penis swords to determine who gets to be female and who gets to be male.
- These battles can last up to an hour and often involve the pair gouging holes into one another. The winner gets to swim off without any further biological responsibility while the loser becomes a single mother.
3 – Water Strider Mating Habits,
- For those of you who like an element of danger in your sex lives, take a leaf out of the water strider’s playbook. These little guys are famous for walking on water, but did you know the male of the species also likes drawing the attention of dangerous predatory fish during sexy time?
- Males mount female water striders without any courting rituals or foreplay. If the female resists, the male blackmails them by tapping his legs against the water’s surface, creating ripples that purposely lure predatory fish.
- She basically has to give him what he wants or they’ll become fish food. Not very nice! Oh, and the males don’t hang around to raise their kids either. They’ve already moved on to their next non-consensual encounter.
2 – Cuckoo Bird Shirks Parenting Duties,
- Another animal that won’t win any Parent of the Year awards is the Cuckoo bird. Cuckoos are too busy flying around being awesome that they don’t bother building a nest to lay their eggs in.
- Instead, they lay their eggs in other nests so that other birds will look after their young. I guess it’s like the bird equivalent of leaving a baby on a stranger’s doorstep. Each breeding season the female Cuckoo finds new places to deposit her eggs.
- But here’s the really evil part. While spying on the foster family from afar, she waits until the foster parents are out then murders their unborn chicks to ensure that only the Cuckoo chicks will be looked after
1 – Animal Coprophagy,
- If you’re frustrated that your dog or cat prefers eating poo to the expensive pet food you bought them, you may be relieved to learn that it’s a relatively normal habit – at least for animals.
- This is called coprophagy and there are many reasons for it – most of them instinctual. In the canine world, new mothers are hardwired to keep their dens clean so that predators won’t be attracted by the scent. Sometimes dogs dispose of their faeces because they think that’s what you want. They see you picking it up and think they’re helping to clean the yard.
- Other animals dine at Poo Town because they find undigested food morsels or so they can absorb vitamins from the bacteria living in their intestinal tract. Rabbits frequently reingest waste to get added nutrients. If they don’t they can experience malnutrition. This process is called cecotropes.