Forget taking a date to the movies or preparing a candlelight dinner – these ten animals know how to really romance their partners.
Bizarre mating ritual: Bonobo monkeys are sex-obsessed. For Bonobos, mating is as frequent and as casual as when humans say “hello” or shake hands. Bonobos also partake in French kissing, same-sex dealings and other, less salubrious activities.
Sex factor: 5/5 – The benchmark of monkey loving.
Bizarre mating ritual: ‘Black widow’ has become a universal term for a deadly female, largely due to the spiders’ mating habits. Female black widows sometimes kill and eat Female black widows sometimes kill and eat their male counterparts after mating. Well it’s certainly better than having the male spider hang around, hogging the sheets and snoring.
Sex factor: 4/5 – More deadly than the male.
Bizarre mating ritual: Most animals don’t expect breakfast and a cuddle after mating, but the male praying mantis has it harder than most. Females are known to bite their mate’s heads off during mating as it helps with sperm delivery and increases their chances of conceiving.
Sex factor: 3/5 – That’s one way to get ahead in life.
Bizarre mating ritual: This mousey-looking Australian may look like butter wouldn’t melt in its paws, but when it’s mating season they go at it with the kind of dedication that’d make Russell Brand seem prudish. These mice spend up to 12 hours mating with one companion before moving onto the next. Then, at the end of the season, they die.
Sex factor: 4/5 – Not the worst way to go, all being said.
Bizarre mating ritual: If you’re easily disgusted, look away now! Mating is hard work for male giraffes. When a male happens upon a female giraffe, he will perform a procedure known as the "fleshmen sequence" to see if she’s up for it. First, he nudges her rump to induce urination. He then takes a mouthful of urine and if it tastes good to him, he begins to court her.
Sex factor: 3/5 – It’s certainly more straightforward than online dating.
Bizarre mating ritual: A male banana slugs boasts a penis as long as its body (at least eight inches). The downside is finding a partner of the right dimensions, because the alternative involves the female chewing it down to size, which really ruins a first date.
Sex factor: 4/5 – We’ll never look at a banana the same way again.
Bizarre mating ritual: Red-sided garter snakes hibernate in huge groups, but that’s not all they do in numbers. When it comes to sex they form ‘mating balls’ of up to 100 males on 1 ‘lucky’ female. And they don’t even buy her dinner first.
Sex factor: 3/5 – Snake balls. Why did it have to be snake balls?
Bizarre mating ritual: Snails are hermaphrodites. Their genitals are on their necks, right behind their eye-stalks, and just before two snails mate, they shoot "love darts" made of calcium at each other. Snails do this because the mucus on the darts allows more sperm to be stored in the snail’s uterus.
Sex factor: 2/5 – Remember this next time you order escargot.
Bizarre mating ritual: Get ready to make a cute ‘aww’ noise. When white-fronted parrots fall in love, they kiss, just like proper love birds. The downside is that during the kiss they vomit in their mate’s mouth. More last orders fumble than last of the true romantics, then.
Sex factor: 2/5 – Like Tamworth on a Friday night.
Bizarre mating ritual: Earwigs are those little creepy-crawlies known to wiggle into your ears at night. They also have two penises. As impressive as this might sound, earwigs are unable to dual-wield, and because their penises are liable to snap off during mating the second one tends to serve as a back-up – like a rude spare tyre.
Sex factor: 2/5 – Double the fun.
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