Where would we be without sex?
Quite literally nowhere.
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Nor would the rest of the animal kingdom. And some creatures have stranger methods of procreating than others.
The male echidna’s penis has four heads, but it can only ejaculate from two at the same time.
Abby Jame via Giphy
And it can control which two heads it wants to use. A recent study in the journal Sexual Development reported on this phenomenon in detail.
“Their penis is actually acting like two separate penises that just happen to be merged together”
Lead author Jane Fenelon, in The Guardian
Researchers suspect this might help the mammal save time between mating sessions, but further study is needed to know for sure.
Hunter Preston via Giphy
Would you risk it all for love? Many male spiders do, by succumbing to their cannibalistic female mates after sex.
Ashwin06k via Wikimedia Commons
In many species, sex-based size differences contribute to this phenomenon.
Take the giant golden orb weaver: females are 10 times larger than males.
Patrice Babeux / 500px/500px/Getty Images
Some species of snakes, like anacondas, also display cannibalistic behaviors. Females tend to be larger than males.
But the females don’t have to look far to find a mate. The males find her — and she’ll indulge them all at the same time.
seeer / Imazins/ImaZinS/Getty Images
Snake orgies are often comprised of one female and several males. Sometimes they’ll keep the affair going while slithering into a tree to dodge predators.
To put it bluntly: duck sex is horrifying.
If you’re able to look past the male’s 15-inch barbed penis and explosive ejaculations, you’ll find that rape is common amongst most ducks and only 1 in 4 matings are actually successful.
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Female ducks have complicated genitalia as well — in part to thwart unwanted suitors who come looking for sex.
Female kangaroos have three vaginas: two to hold sperm, and the other for birthing.
Khaichuin Sim/Moment/Getty Images
Males, on the other hand, often have double-pronged penises. (Still no match for the echidna, though).
Iana Kunitsa/Moment/Getty Images
The male can tell when the female is ready to mate by sniffing and tasting her pee.
Pretty strange, right?
Maybe by our standards. But then again, who’s judge what’s truly weird in the world of sex, anyway?
Read more stories about animals here.