We’ve all seen those beautiful penguin photos, beaks together forming a heart, on Valentine’s Day. And don’t get us wrong; we love how adorable and sweet nature can be. But just for fun, we thought we’d explore the darker side of love in the wild—with animals that are willing to die for it! Maybe they’ve been listening to too much Prince: “You just leave it all up to me; my love will be your food.”
Is all fair in love and war? Find out which sex comes out on top …
Honeybee—The Virgin Queen
Here’s how it goes down as the queen flies to a new location: The males mount the queen in flight, insert their endophallus, have it ripped from their bodies and die leaving the queen newly fertilized. Oh, honey!
Honeybee. Photo © Red Barnes/Flickr via a Creative Commons license
Praying Mantis—Off with His Head!
Females usually kill their mate when he dismounts after copulation (although sometimes she starts during the act)—starting with the arms so he can’t fight her, next with the head and on down. Half of all males successfully dismount without harm. It all comes down to how hungry she is. How’s that for a dinner date?
Photo © Giddeon Zeix