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The Huntress vs. The Headline: “Sexual Cannibulism: A Treat You Can Eat”

June 9, 2011

It’s Thursday and traditionally on Thursday’s I like to spend the evening getting drunk and disorderly with my partner in crime and any poor bastard who happens to dangerously step into our celebrations. But I’m not. Instead I am drinking a nice glass of wine, planning an impromptu scotch party (apparently we’re bringing out the 25 year old) and cruising for today’s headlines. So for today’s top terrible treats we are continuing along with the Pippa Middleton theme with “Pippa’s Bum Pipped By 50-Year-Old Woman” (News.com.au) and “Meet Pippa’s Mates, The Pipparettes” (The Courier Mail). It was about then I had a lot of understanding for “This Is Not Funny. Not Funny At All” (PerthNow).

More wine!

It was a hard choice between headlines today. I was initially tempted by “Why Is A Cow Like A Pink Batt?” but was seduced by today’s headline as it is about sex and science. Two of my favourite things. This article explores the mating habits of many species and I can’t help but relate them all back to the human species. Please, bear with me (Upon retrospect [and more wine!] it is probably inadvisable you do bear with me).

The first most important thing to note is that monogamy is not the norm within the animal world. The goal is to maximise reproductive fitness and survival of the species, which is best achieved via polygamy. Do whatever you want with that snippet of information. What it all comes down to is that while the goals of males and females are innately the same, sexual conflict is created due to the need to maximise this reproductive fitness ie. within some species the female is compelled to eat the head of the male.

I suppose having your head eaten often seems like a conflict of interests. Unless you’re into vorarephilia.

So how does this sexual conflict work? It rather depends upon your species, which determines whether the male or female is the instigator of conflict. Much like human males, male grey seals become rather, ahem, insistent towards any females that resist their mating attempts. This often leads to high levels of restraining orders from the female grey seal population.

It seems that male water striders guard their female partner by, uh, remaining mounted once having finished their business. This one is a moot point for the female as she has increased energy expenditure, which leads to weight loss, but also prevents her from finding a better and possibly more suitable mate. So why bother losing weight?

To turn the tables the female preying mantid attacks males as they approach and there is a very likely chance that the male will be eaten prior to even getting a crack at mating. This is not dissimilar to the mating habits of many Perth based women.

I think I should stop now before I stick my foot back in my mouth. For a cool picture today I found this one of a jet propelled eagle.

For some reason I am reminded of Roger Ramjet…

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