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Top 10 Animals with the Most Unusual Mating Tactics - OneKindPlanet
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For one, it has a central groove. The male releases packets of sperm called spermatophores into this groove, for their journey to the female. The arm's tip is also equipped with erectile tissue , not unlike that found in the human penis, which provides stiffness that helps guide the arm into the female's body.
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The arm goes in through one of the two siphons on the female's mantle, which she also uses to breathe, expel waste and jet out water for swimming. The destination for these spermatophores is the female's small oviducal gland , a sort of holding area. When she lays her eggs, which could be days or even months later, they will pass this area and be fertilised.
The male needs to keep his mating arm tip inside the female long enough to transfer at least one spermatophore, and preferably more. In some smaller species this might take just a couple minutes, says Jennifer Mather of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. But for big species like the giant Pacific octopus , mating can last at least half an hour.
But being soft-bodied, they can't indulge for too long. As a general rule, it's the male octopuses that approach the females. Then the males tend to take one of two approaches in attempting insemination. The first is a risky position called the "mount". This style of mating tends to be more popular in species with shorter arms, says Huffard. Females of these species may be less likely to eat their mates.
Possibly, species in which males are more likely to be devoured during sex have evolved longer arms, which would make mating a little safer for the males. More cautious males opt for the "reach". This allows him to keep his distance. The "reach" tactic is more common in octopuses with longer arms, which may be the ones where female cannibalism is more likely. An extra-long reach means that the male can stretch his arm into a resting female's den and mate with her without even venturing inside.
Just be glad you're not a giraffe.
The algae octopus is one such cautious mater. These females ought to be too busy to eat him.
The "reach" approach also keeps the male's other seven arms free, so he can defend himself if need be, says Ross. This may be why the coconut octopus practices distant sex. The "reach" tactic might also be advantageous for the female. In theory, she could entertain two male suits at once, says Huffard: one in each siphon. In some species, male octopuses have moved beyond the "reach". They just give the female their spermatophore-loaded mating arm, and swim away to safety.
Male argonaut octopuses are smaller than the females, and the male's hectocotylus simply stays intact inside the female's mantle "until the female is ready to use the sperm for fertilization", Mather says. It was actually this behaviour that earned the hectocotylus its name. In the early 19th century the zoologist Georges Cuvier discovered strange foreign objects in female argonaut octopuses and thought they must be a type of parasitic worm. He called them Hectocotylus octopodis , and the name stuck. For blanket octopuses , a detached mating arm might also be a logistical necessity.
The females can be 2m long, while the males are just a few centimetres. So the male "removes the arm that carries the sperm, and the arm goes into the [female's] mantle cavity," says Ross. But it's not all rough-and-tumble, strangulation and arm removal. Algae octopuses are slightly more tolerant of each other than most species, and as a result their mating behaviours are more nuanced. Males of this species have other males as well as females to fear when attempting to mate. The largest males often have the privilege of guarding a desirable female and mating with her repeatedly.
These sounds are presumed to be made by the tusks although some researchers have mentioned that they are made by the tongue. What it does is produce a huge amount of saliva and this seems to stimulate the male. A male will stay mounted on the female for a long time - I have observed more than an hour. During this time other Warthog will come and nuzzle the female.
It is not known why this is done. After a while they ran toward some bushes where two big males were engaged in a fight. The fight had obviously been going on for a while as they were both bleeding. One of the youngsters nudged one of the males. The male looked in the direction of the female and made one last thrust at the other male. This was enough as the other male ran off. The dominant male then turned on the one that was mating with the female.
After a short scuffle the young male disappeared at speed into the mopane. The courtship of Weavers involves the male building a nest and then 'inviting' females to inspect the abode. While the female is inspecting the nest the male will display by calling and ruffling his feathers.
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If the female is not happy she will reject the nest and the male will start constructing a new nest. It is not uncommon to find a number of unoccupied 'reject' nests side by side with occupied ones. How or why the female judges the suitability of nests is unknown. Dominance through mating the dying Males of some species such as Elephant have been observed mounting dead or dying members of the same sex and species. This is explained as a show of dominance over a previously dominant individual.