The unusual mating in the animal kingdom

If you thought mating rituals of animals are the same as that of humans, think again. On an average, sex can take anywhere between 30 seconds and 45 minutes. However, this is not the case for all animals. There are some whose mating techniques are so extreme that it leads to fatal consequences.

The male brown antechinus for example will mate with multiple females as much as possible for two weeks during the mating season. This can go up to 14 hours at a time. All this testosterone production sends the body into overdrive leaving his immune system so weak that he’s vulnerable to all sorts of illnesses and infection. Often, he dies before his young are born. This is termed as suicidal reproduction by scientists.



The male honeybee has a primary job of mating with the queen bee. It sounds fun but sadly it isn’t. During the act, his reproductive organs are ripped off and his testicles explode. His semen shoots through her oviduct where the female stores it for later use. Obviously, the worker bee dies after mating only once with the queen bee.


The triplewart seadevil is a deep-sea species where the male is much smaller in size compared to the female. It would be like a human mating with someone who only reaches her ankle. Instead of hunting for his own food, the male seadevil will bite into the body of the female and stay there like a parasite. He lives off the nutrients from her blood. In return, he provides her with sperm. In the process, his body shrivels up and he starts to lose his fins, internal organs and eyes. Ultimately, he is just a portable sperm bank for the female and then dies.



The short beaked echidna has an equally unusual mating ritual. He along with 9 other males will follow the female for up to a month during the mating season. The anatomy of the female has a forked reproductive tract and the male has a four headed penis that reaches a quarter of his body length when erect. So, during sex the male alternates and shoots the semen into the female tract. The sperm disintegrates and hundreds of sperm enter the tract at a lightning speed making fertilisation highly probable.



Barnacles have penises that can expand up to ten times its body size. Since they have restricted movement, the male penis will reach out like a fishing pole in the current in search of a mate and will fertilise the female organs when he finds his match.

All animals have their own ways of reproduction, and some of them are bound to leave you appalled!