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Which Species Die—or Kill—for Love?

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Which Species Die—or Kill—for Love?

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

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Read more: Blogs, Environment, Green, Holidays, Life, Love, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Valentine's Day, , , , , , , , ,

By The Nature Conservancy

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2:05AM PDT on Mar 10, 2015

I'll pass, it's not pretty.

5:19PM PDT on Nov 1, 2014

Glad my husband didn't die after I got pregnant with our kids--I don't believe I could do the single parent thing very well at all...

9:10AM PST on Feb 13, 2014

interesting, thanks!

3:02AM PST on Feb 9, 2014

Thank you

7:22AM PST on Jan 4, 2014

Yes, life is hard for the male.
Where is the animal MRA?

6:23PM PST on Nov 12, 2013

I remember a Star Trek novel where there was a race that the males died to mate and the combination of that concept on top of sentience was fascinating.

7:20PM PST on Nov 4, 2013

Thank goodness that human mating isn't normally like the mating facts listed here. YIKES!

12:41PM PDT on Aug 30, 2013

Cool..Brush-tailed Australian Marsupial Mouse, is a new 1 4 me.

9:38AM PDT on Mar 21, 2013


7:47AM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

thank you for sharing

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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