All animals are biologically programmed to ensure the survival of their species by reproducing successfully. However, not all animals mate and breed in the same way. Many animals engage in elaborate rituals to attract the attention of a mate, some have intercourse in seemingly unconventional ways, and others make use of unique reproductive organs. Here are eleven of the most bizarre animal mating behaviors from around the world.
Argonauts, a species of octopus, are unique sea creatures that live inside a protective shell. Male argonauts grow to be only a couple of centimeters in length while female argonauts, on the other hand, are around twenty times their size. Because of this difference in size, argonauts have to get creative when it comes to reproducing. Male argonauts have a mind-boggling way of doing this; to successfully mate, they throw a tiny, modified arm-penis containing sperm (known as a hectocotylus) at the female partner. This small external organ then wiggles its way inside the female sac containing her organs to fertilize her eggs. Male argonauts soon die after launching their hectocotylus and mating with a female.
The sex rituals of male octopuses have stunned scientists because they differ from those of other cephalopods. Other breeds of octopus also use a unique arm to fertilize female eggs. Female octopuses can safely store male sperm packets inside of their bodies until they are ready to lay eggs. The reproductive organ in a female octopus is inside her body, but a male octopus inserts his mating arm into the female from a distance. Because most female octopuses are cannibals, having sex from a distance is ideal for the male because it gives him a chance to escape and avoid being eaten he's done the deed. In addition to their larger size, female octopuses are typically hungrier than male octopuses. Therefore, there is always a risk that rather than reproducing, they will strangle their partner to death and eat him instead.