Sex and Animal Mating Habits Random Facts and Trivia Part 1

Some random facts and trivia about animal mating habits and sexuality, information on insects and bacteria.

The Birds and Bees--and More

The unicellular bacteria, Trichonympha, which lives in the intestines of wood-eating cock-roaches, is completely bisexual. The sexual act is performed when the cell playing the male role enters the rear of the female through a special plasma zone and the 2 cells fuse. Which bacteria will play what sex role is determined by the number of pigment spots on each; the one with more spots becomes the female and the one with less, the male. However, in another instance of mating, the Trichonympha which previously played the female role may find its spots outnumbered and be forced into performing the male role.

The head and brain of the Palolo Worm (Eunice), which lives in coral reefs, never participate whatsoever in its own sexual life. The worm ties off its rear segments where the male and female sexual products are located. This rear end then breaks off from the worm's body and swims to the surface to join other rear ends. They all empty out their products and then die. Meanwhile, the worm's head and brain, still underwater, grow a new rear section, to repeat the process once again according to the phases of the moon.

Bedbugs (Cimex) achieve sexual intercourse when the male pierces a hole through the female's back by means of a spike on the front of his penis. He ejaculates into this hole, where his sperm swim around in the female's blood until they reach her ovaries. The fertilized eggs then develop into embryos which are born alive. Male beetle mites (Oribatei) deposit large quantities of their spermatophores on the ground, not caring whether a female is in the area. If a female should happen along, she will pick up a few of these fungoidlike growths and deposit them in her reproductive organ. When a male and female beetle mite pass by each other, they make no signs of recognition.

Male scorpions ensure that a female will find their spermatophores. The male finds a female and grabs her by the pincers. He then ejaculates on the ground between them and pulls her forward so that her reproductive organ comes into contact with his spermatophore.

The blind garden centipede (Scutigerella) also deposits his spermatophore on the ground. The female finds the substance and takes it into her mouth, storing it in a special cheek pouch. When she lays her eggs, she places each egg in her mouth and smears it with a small amount of the stored spermatophore.

Male flatworms have a multifunctional penis. It comes out of their mouth, is equipped with spikes and poison glands, and, in addition to its sexual function, is used to catch prey.

The mite Pyemotis, which feeds on caterpillars, is sexually mature at birth. The young males remain with their mother, stinging her to suck out her bodily juices. They wait at the genital duct for a female to be born. They take no notice of their brothers, but should a sister appear, they will immediately grab her and begin to copulate.

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