Of course insects, snakes, dolphins and other animals have sex to reproduce, but physically how? And how do animals choose a mate? The answers reveal some of the strangest rituals and physical abilities in the natural world.
Here's something to keep in mind the next time you watch Dolphin Tale: male dolphins have a retractable penises that can swivel and grasp much like a human hand. And while dolphins can perform repeatedly during the day, it only lasts about twelve seconds.
Now, I don't want to label dolphins as sex offenders, but they also hump inanimate objects and unsuspecting animals, like sea turtles. What's worse is that when packs of males find a female, they often force her to mate.
Perhaps you remember the efforts to get giant pandas off the endangered species list, when panda mating was a hot topic. What I doubt you heard about was how the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base in Sichuan Province, China, got their pandas to mate. Well, apparently someone there thought they might like watching panda porn. It worked and now panda-on-panda videos are standard procedure at the facility.
Before mating, the male giraffe undergoes a strange ritual to check if the female is in heat. He pushes her butt with his head to induce urination then takes a mouthful. If he approves of the 'sample' he'll follow her around until she gives in to his romantic nature.
Out of thousands of male drones in a hive, only a dozen or so are chosen to mate with the queen. Lucky them-until their penises explode and break off inside of her. The severed member serves as a plug to prevent other males from impregnating the queen but it still seems harsh.
Imagine this: all flatworms have both male and female organs but the male organ is more like two sharp penises. When mating, the two flatworms sword-fight and try to stab each other. They avoid being stabbed as well, because the first one pricked loses the fight and has to be pregnant.
Red-Sided Garter Snakes
Male red-sided garter snakes also have two penises, one on each side of the body. This increases their chances of mating since the snake can use the better positioned penis to mate with the female in the middle of the mating ball. Yes, I said mating ball.
When a female red-sided garter emerges after hibernation, she gives off pheromones that attract hundreds of male snakes and the result is a mating ball, with her at the center.
Step aside, Kelis. This snake brings all the boys to the yard.