Bizarre animal mating rituals

There are plenty of bizarre animal mating rituals out there – some like ours, some not so much.

2nd November 2010
Bizarre animal mating rituals (iStock)

Made-up flamingos

Some human ladies use make up to make themselves more attractive to the opposite sex, and flamingos in Southern Spain are not so far behind. The difference lies in the fact that flamingos produce pigments in glands at the base of their tail and rub these secretions onto their feathers. Being more colourful is a sign of a healthy, well-nourished bird and this clearly helps them in finding a mate.

The clingy angler fish

The male angler fish definitely need the security of a female – it is born without a digestive system. In order to survive, it finds a female fish, bites her and secretes enzymes which allows their bodies to fuse together. It then exists like a parasite, living off his lady friend. The male usually wastes away and dies, leaving the female only with his reproductive system to use whenever she wants.

Hippos getting messy

The male hippo has a rather unpleasant way of attracting its female counterpart. He uses his tail to spray her with his faeces. It definitely is one of the smelliest ways to attract a partner, but hey, it works for them.

Garter snakes like a party

The female garter snake is pretty independent and likes to be by herself for the most part. However, during the mating season, she releases pheromones that excite and attracts males in the hundreds. What ensues is a not-so-pleasant sight to the human eye with loads of snakes squirming and churning over the female garter.

Painful snail games

Snails can be a weird lot. As well as having both the female and the male reproductive system, they indulge in what is called a ‘love spray’. After engaging in a little ‘foreplay’, they shoot long sperm-filled darts at each other, fertilizing one another as they go. Painful? Yes. Some even die.

 


Follow Science Focus on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

You are currently reading: Bizarre animal mating rituals - 2nd November