March 7, 2007

Post-Coital Gifts

From LiveScience:

A male orb-web spider leaves behind a post-coital gift that helps to ensure that any subsequent offspring are his. He leaves the tip of his genitals in the females' sexual orifice, effectively blocking future males' efforts to inseminate the female, new research shows.

The behavior damages the males' genitals while corking up the females' potential for lengthy and therefore successful subsequent mating, says Gabriele Uhl of the University of Bonn.

Believe it or not, this voluntary castration has no statistical effect on the survival of the male.

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