Some Amazing Facts About Animal Reproduction

If you thought humans were kinky and bizarre in the sack, wait until you’ve heard a tale or two about animals and their weird reproductive practices. Trust us — you’ll be glad you’re a featherless biped! Let’s talk about science and reproduction.

Banana Slugs Reproduce With Penises on Their Heads

The banana slug with a physique that resembles the long, hard, yellow fruit is an animal that is infamous for its gigantic genitalia, measuring almost the size of its body. It emerges from an opening from its head and grows to about 6 to 8 inches when it’s time to mate. 


These shell-less gastropods are hermaphroditic creatures, which means both come to copulate with a member typically so huge that its scientific name, Ariolimax dolichophallus, actually translates to “long penis.”  

During intercourse, the two intersexed creatures come together and moisten their skins with tentacles, an act that resembles kissing or foreplay. They then intertwine their wormlike bodies so that their erections are locked and connected as they proceed to pump and swamp pools of sperm into the receiving end of the other. This can last for hours at a time, all day, until they are ready to part ways. In some cases, they gnaw off either or both penises before they split. 

Giraffes Undergo Cycles of Fertility

Unlike many of their friends, giraffes are not bound by a mating season to reproduce. They are free to have sex all year round, but the male will have to find the perfect chance to breed as the window of opportunity is small. The female is constantly on the move, leaving little time for comfort. And they experience an estrous cycle of ovulation that lasts about 14 days.


First, he has to catch up to her. Then he must pound her lightly to encourage urination. After smelling her pee to determine if her hormones are at peak levels for impregnation, he follows her around for days until she stands still long enough for him to successfully mount her for intercourse. He has seconds to ejaculate before she’s off and running again. Probably with child — never to be seen again. 

The “Traumatic Insemination” of Bed Bugs

No one would think to sympathize with a bed bug. If you are unfortunate enough to carry them home or to work, the blood-sucking pests are nothing but a burden. But consider for a moment the nature of how they multiply, and you might muster some compassion. 


Bed bugs reproduce by a process called “traumatic insemination,” where the male uses his needle penis to break into the hard abdomen of the female. He then releases his semen into her hemolymph, or circulatory system, through the resulting wound. It makes humans sex seem a touch less savage. 


The break in the shell does come at a cost, affecting her health and vulnerability. The piercing is open to infection and requires time to heal. Females have evolved a pair of sperm-receptacles, or spermalege, intended to lessen the damage. After a few days of feeding, she is ready to lay her eggs.

Cannibalistic Ways of Female Praying Mantis

It is no secret that the female praying mantis will bite the head off of her mate after coitus. Sexual cannibalism is the practice of consuming a sexual partner before, during, or after intercourse out of anger, frustration, passion, and, more logically, for energy. When the mantis eats her partner, the enzymes allow her to lay more eggs. 


The female of the species is a flightless insect, larger than her counterpart. She will release pheromones to attract her mate, who will respond and court her. She won’t always take him for a meal, though. The mantis will only devour her partner about a quarter of the time. 


Unlike other cannibalistic creatures, the male mantis can repeatedly breed until their luck runs out and they rendezvous with the wrong one. His sperm is then carried away by the female to her eggs waiting somewhere on a leaf.

Honey Bees Are Known for Their Sexual Suicide

The drone, or male honey bee, doesn’t sting. They are alive only to take the chance at breeding with their virgin royalty, the queen bee. She takes a nuptial flight, where she swings around the colony, swarmed by suitors, allowing the most confident and strong drones to mate with her whilst in mid-air until she has had enough. 


The drone will grab her and aggressively insert his endophallus into her vagina, then quickly ejaculate with such force that his penis and part of his abdomen will rip away, rendering him immediately lifeless. Others will remove his remains from the queen’s body and continue the process, leaving a trail of bodies as evidence. The “unlucky” bees left behind are cast away from the hive to survive in the cold. 

Male Anglerfish Bites Into His Mates Body

The mysterious, deep-sea Anglerfish is not a very attractive animal, and neither is their reproductive ritual. This terrifying-looking, sharp-toothed creature has an odd method of coexisting called parasitic mating


The Ceratioid males are attracted to their hosts via pheromones emitted by the females of the species. She will also flash a bioluminescent light off her head to lure him in. Once they connect, he bites into her, permanently latching onto her system. He then proceeds to fuse into her body, completely melting away all his unnecessary parts until he is barely noticeable. Their skin and blood vessels will join together. He will take everything he needs to survive directly from her through symbiosis, as the two lover fish have, forever, become one.

Alligators Having Erect Penises for the Rest of Their Life

Compared to its massive size, the penis of an alligator is merely ten centimeters (under four inches) long, on average. It is pale white and, when it is time to breed, springs out and retracts like a powerful bungee. Another detail worth mentioning is that the alligator’s phallus is in a constant state of erection. The reptilian penis stays hidden inside an orifice of the pelvis called the cloaca until it is needed for use. 


Scientists are still studying how it maintains form, but unlike most penis that inflate or swell upon arousal, the alligator’s members seem to stay hard for life. This is because it is filled with thick, dense layers of fibrous collagen protein that keep it rigid and impenetrable. Alligators will begin to court their potential partners as the weather gets warmer in late spring/early summer. They flirt in the water by running their snouts together, which, after everything we’ve said about animal reproduction, seems rather sweet, does it not?