Til Death Do Us Part

Weird and Unusual Love Tactics from the Insect World and Animal Kingdom

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, leading us to ask the question, how do insects and animals mate and show affection? Most people know that the female black widow spider kills her mate after courtship, but what about the rest of the insect world? 

We’ve dug up 10 fun facts about love. Wild style! 

  1. Females can be ferocious! Not only do black widows kill their male counterpart, but so does the praying mantis. 
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  1. Prairie voles are among a rare 3% of animals that mate for life. Males help raise the young and science has found that voles will grieve at the passing of their partner. 
  1. Some snails “love spray” each other. Snails have male and female reproductive parts. Because of this, both snails shoot each other with spiky love darts in an attempt to fertilize the eggs of their partner.
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  1. Researchers in Denmark believe male nursery spiders bring a gift to the female before mating to avoid becoming dinner themselves. 
  1. Male bed bugs stab females in the abdomen with his genitals in an attempt to inseminate her. Ouch! 
  1. Squirrels play hard to get. Male squirrels chase each other and fight to see who wins the right to mate. Then, the female chases the winning male. If he can keep up with her, he wins the right to mate!
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  1. Female spiders can lay over 200 eggs at a time. For example, the common “house” spider averages 250 eggs per sac. In addition, during her life, she may lay as many as 17 sacs, totaling over 4,000 offspring!
  1. Garter snakes mate in a large group. Once the snakes wake from hibernation, the female emits a pheromone. Then, male snakes rush to her and create a “ball” as the males try to get into the correct mating position. 
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  1. Some variations of female porcupines are only available for courting 8-12 hours a YEAR! To court her, the male urinates on her. If she likes the smell, they have a very busy 8-12 hours. 
  1.  Love is in the air! Nope, that is just female skunks refusing to mate with a male. Skunk mating season begins right around Valentine’s Day. As a result, you may expect some unpleasant fragrance in your back yard this month.

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