mating

Weird Purple Frog Seduces Females From Underground

Meet the Indian purple frog, also known as the pig-nosed frog. Only formally discovered in 2003, the colorful amphibian is an endangered species native to the mountains of India’s Western Ghats. With a chubby, purple body and pointed, piglike snout, it’s unlike any other frog on Earth. Some of the purple frog’s unusual looks are adaptations…

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Spiky Baby Killers: Echidna Secrets Revealed

An egg-laying, spiny mammal with a four-headed penis is already pretty bizarre, but it turns out short-beaked echidnas are even stranger than we thought. Weighing up to nine pounds (four kilograms) and resembling a big hedgehog, the short-beaked echidna is one of only three species of monotremes—or egg-laying mammals—left in the world, along with the platypus…

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9 Things You Didn’t Know About Groundhogs

This Sunday is Groundhog Day, which means that eyes that aren’t glued to the Super Bowl will be trained on Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and the verdict of its most famous resident: occasional meteorologist and full-time groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. Each year groundhogs enjoy 15 minutes of fame before most people proceed to forget about them completely. So…

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Striking Picture: Bats Hunt Frogs by Detecting Water Ripples

Male túngara frogs (Physalemus pustulosus) are the romantic type. Instead of roaming around looking for mates, these tiny Central and South American rain forest amphibians sit in puddles singing love songs, attracting females that flock to the aquatic crooner’s home. The frog’s calls have an unintended effect: They create ripples that draw the attention of predators lurking in…

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Male Black Widow Spiders “Twerk” to Avoid Being Eaten by Females

Forget Miley Cyrus: When it comes to twerking, spiders can save their lives by shaking their booties, a new study says. Scientists have found that male black widows move their bodies in a certain way to let females know of their presence—and avoid becoming their next meal. (Also see “Surprise! Male Spiders Eat Females, Too.”)…

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Sea Slugs Stab Mates Between The Eyes to Get Them In The Mood

The Marquis de Sade had nothing on this critter—a sea slug that makes out by stabbing potential mates between the eyes and, researchers suspect, drugging them. Besides having a penis, the sea slug—an as-yet undescribed species from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—is also armed with a hypodermic device for injecting chemicals that possibly make its partners…

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Male Lizards Less Attracted to “Bearded Ladies”

When it comes to choosing a mate, even lizards have certain standards. Tracy Langkilde, an associate professor of biology at Penn State University, and Lindsey Swierk, a graduate student in Langkilde’s lab, recently looked at the relationship between body-color patterning and mating behavior in the fence lizard Sceloporus undulatus, and found that the sex lives…

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Repurposed Private Parts: 5 Unexpected Ways Animals Use Their Genitals

  Genitals are useful for transferring sperm, but why stop there? Some animals have evolved unusual and creative ways to use their naughty bits to trick predators or attract mates. Recently, scientists discovered that hawkmoths have an unusual defense against bat sonar—by rubbing their genitals together, the moths produce ultrasonic sounds of their own. These…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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