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8 bizarre methods species get it on



Above: A kakapo on Anchor Island, New Zealand. The world’s heaviest parrot, the extraordinarily uncommon kakapo solely breeds each three or 4 years when a selected tree species is fruiting. (© Jake Osborne/Flickr)

Editor’s notice: It’s Valentine’s Day, when ideas flip to romance — an advanced matter for us people, however much more so for a few of our animal associates. This Valentine’s Day, we requested Conservation Worldwide’s personal Russ Mittermeier, a famend primatologist and naturalist, about a few of the extra colourful mating habits of the animal kingdom.

1. Male parrots solely get fortunate if a close-by tree is producing fruit.

“The kakapo is a nocturnal, flightless parrot residing in New Zealand. Males of this critically endangered species climb to the top of a mountain, build a nice round display area, then “boom” a number of hundred occasions per evening to draw females. However the females have an interest solely as soon as each three or 4 years when a selected tree species fruits — so the males growth tens of 1000’s of occasions earlier than they get any motion. Jogs my memory of some guys I knew in highschool.”

2. Giant testicled-monkeys battle with sperm, not tooth.

This toddler muriqui in Brazil was possible fathered by probably the most virile male to mate with its mom. (© CI/Russell A. Mittermeier)

“Muriquis, which live in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, are the largest South American monkey — and they have the testicles to match. Male muriquis have the largest testicles of any primate relative to their size (they’re pretty big in absolute terms as well). When a female is receptive, the males mate sequentially with her, with the one producing the most sperm presumably fathering the offspring. There is virtually no fighting among males; in fact, there’s great camaraderie.”

3. Hundreds of snakes collect in Canada yearly for an enormous mixer.

“In the limestone caves around Lake Manitoba, geology has created perfect conditions for the annual mating season of red-sided garter snakes. As the males search among the hordes for females, they sometimes get tangled up in writhing balls of reptile.”

4. Feminine ring-tailed lemurs name the pictures.


Ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar. (© Artwork Wolfe/

“In the society of Madagascar’s ring-tailed lemurs, females are dominant. Not only do the females beat the hell out of the males, they also have a strong dominance hierarchy among themselves, with subordinate females suffering a great deal.”

5. Tortoise relationship credentials: spherical, close by

Galapagos tortoises, which like most tortoises should not very choosy in regards to the objects of their affection. (© Island Conservation 2012/Flickr Artistic Commons)

“Tortoises try to mate with anything vaguely in the shape of a tortoise — footballs, rocks, shoes, other species of tortoise. The sounds they make while doing it are also quite distinctive. (If you think you’ve never heard it, it might be time to re-watch ‘Jurassic Park.’)”

6. Even some so-called monogamous species “cheat.”


A pair of silvery gibbons on the Indonesian island of Java. (© Lukas Blazek)

“Gibbons are often cited by animal lovers as a rare mammal that forms monogamous pair bonds. However, even these individuals cheat like hell.”

7. Hoarding birds appeal to females with blue treasure.

“The bowerbirds of Australia and New Guinea are junk collectors. They collect large quantities of stuff of different categories, mostly shiny things like pieces of plastic or metal, seeds, shells, etc., and try to impress females with them. I must have been a bowerbird in another life.”

8. With orangutans, the “nerds” have the final chuckle.


A “flanged” male orangutan has a snack on Borneo, Malaysia. (© Trond Larsen)

“When they reach maturity, male orangutans develop fleshy cheek pads called flanges. These big flanged males are the football players of the orangutan world, and you think they would dominate all mating. But the wimpy unflanged males (read: computer nerds) sneak in every chance they get, and actually have comparable reproductive success to the big guys.”

Molly Bergen is the senior managing editor of Conservation Information. To check your data on animal love, take this quiz

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