Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Not the most auspicious start to fatherhood

Another weird and wonderful tale from the animal world, described by Ed Yong on 'Not exactly rocket science'.

'For a small Amazonian frog called Rhinella proboscidea, death is no impediment to sex. The males form huge mating balls in which dozens of individuals compete to fertilise a female. These competitions are so intense, and the combined males so heavy, that the poor female sometimes drowns in the struggle.
But for the males, that’s not a deal-breaker. Thiago Izzo from Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research has found that the males can force the eggs from the bodies of the deceased female, and fertilise them. It’s a unique strategy and one that effectively involves sexual reproduction with a dead partner. Izzo calls “functional necrophilia”.'

...'Dad, how did you meet Mum and how did I get born?' 'Umm...' 

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