mating

Rare Video Footage Shows the Dynamics of Cougar Courtship

How cougars find each other in a vast landscape of mountains, raging water, thick forests, and rocky bluffs is one of life’s great mysteries for those of us who study mountain lions. I’ve spent many long hours contemplating ...

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, ...

Lemurs in Love Take on the Same Smell

Forget his n’ hers watches this Valentine’s Day: A species of lemur prefers a set of matching scents. In a move that can only make master perfumers green with envy, pairs of Coquerel’s sifakas (Propithecus coquereli) that have ...

Dangerous Dating: 4 Animals That Take Love to the Extreme

Finding true love is difficult no matter what species you were born into—but at least humans don’t have to worry about being eaten on a first date. Black widow spider and scorpion females famously kill and sometimes eat ...

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 ...

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’...

Bone Worm Mating Revealed: Males Have “Penis” on Head

By Bradley Balukjian Thousands of feet under the sea, bone worms give new meaning to the song “It’s Raining Men.” These frilly pink creatures live on whale carcasses in harems that make free lovers of the 1960s look tame—...

Rare Horned Lizards of Sri Lanka Revealed

What does this face say to you? Quite a lot, if you’re a Cerataphora lizard. New research on this little-known and much endangered genus of agamid lizard, which is found only in the tropical lowland and mountain cloud forests ...

Praying Mantises Falling Victim to Sex Cannibal

By James Owen The only praying mantis native to New Zealand has developed a fatal attraction for a cannibal invader whose females devour its mates after sex, scientists report. Males of the New Zealand mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae) are being seduced ...

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’...

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 ...

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 ...

Why Do Blood-Sucking Fish Find Bile Sexy?

Move over, Chanel No. 5. You’ve got a new competitor: The scent of bile is driving female sea lampreys crazy, a new study says. Bile wasn’t always an alluring scent—not even to sea lampreys, a type of parasitic ...

Why Do Blood-Sucking Fish Find Bile Sexy?

Move over, Chanel No. 5. You’ve got a new competitor: The scent of bile is driving female sea lampreys crazy, a new study says. Bile wasn’t always an alluring scent—not even to sea lampreys, a type of parasitic ...