As part of the OKC Zoo's inaugural Date Nights event series every Thursday in June, here are 12 weird, but true, animal date night facts. (Some of these facts are slightly risqué and may not be appropriate for children).
When he’s found a mate, the male angler fish will fuse with the larger female. The body parts he doesn’t need anymore (eyes, fins and some internal organs) wither away until he’s little more than a lump of flesh hanging from the female, taking her food and providing sperm.
For honey bees, mating occurs mid-flight. The male dies shortly after copulating as his reproductive organ and abdominal tissue are ripped from his body and left in the female.
The condition of a blue-footed booby’s feet indicates his health and age to potential partners. The male does a high-stepping strut to show off his feet to prospective mates.
To attract females, male bowerbirds build elaborate structures which they decorate with objects like flowers, fruit, bones and even beetle shells.
Some fish, like the clownfish, can change from male to female. Others, like the kobudai, can change from female to male. There are even those like the hawkfish (all born female) that can change to male then back to female when necessary.
Male giraffes will drink a female’s urine to tell if she is ready to mate.
Male mice sing unique high-pitched songs to attract a mate. But female mice are picky about which songs they like; they prefer tunes that differ from those sung by their relatives.
Male barn owls “flirt” by giving potential mates dead mice and screeching. Interested females respond by croaking.
It’s seldom that adult animals play together, but polar bear courtship is one of the rare exceptions. Polar bear dates consist of skiing down slopes, trampling through the snow and rolling around.
A female praying mantis lures males with pheromones and sometimes, rather than mating, will bite the head of her suitors. Males make up to 60% of her diet during mating season.
Sea otters hold hands while they sleep so they don’t drift apart.
Red Garter Snake
When it’s time to mate, up to 100 males can go after a single female red garter snake at the same time. The female ends up in the middle of a large mating ball.