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The 2 Ways Animals Mate, and How It Affects Their Physique

July 04, 2014

Story at-a-glance

  • A study published in Nature Communications in January evaluated over 300 species and found that the ability of males to claim a female as their own for mating purposes played a central role in the way they evolved.
  • The study investigated sexual behaviors in male birds, fish, insects, mammals, and flatworms and revealed that males try to get females in a couple of different ways. They fight for them, which necessitated that they evolve “weaponry” including big teeth, large bodies, or antlers. Males also attract female partners not by competing for them with other males, but with big testes and high sperm quality, which enables them to fertilize the most eggs.
  • Some species, including humans, evolved to invest in both weaponry and procreation skills, making them half-lovers/half-fighters.
  • Here we present a few of the lovers of the animal kingdom, a couple of fighters, and a few species that are both warriors and wooers.

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