Nature’s strangest SEX rituals, revealed

From voyeurism to fetishism, many individuals have uncommon intercourse kinks they’d like to fulfil. 

But these preferences pale compared to many creatures within the animal kingdom, who’ve some downright weird intercourse rituals. 

This week, scientists revealed how male serotine bats use their large phallus as an ‘further arm’ throughout romps that may last as long as 12.7 hours.

Meanwhile, feminine praying mantises overtly devour the male throughout or after the mating course of.

Here, MailOnline appears to be like on the most uncommon intercourse rituals within the animal kingdom. 

From the echidna with a four-headed penis to banana slugs that can mate with themselves, here's some of nature's weirdest sex stories

From the echidna with a four-headed penis to banana slugs that may mate with themselves, here is a few of nature’s weirdest intercourse tales 


The time period ‘four-headed monster’ is not simply consigned to horror tales.

In truth, you could find one on the male short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) from Australia. 

Although most well-known for its spines and lengthy snout, the mammal has a ‘very lengthy’ and brilliant purple phallus that makes up a 3rd of its physique whereas erect.

What’s actually particular about this member is it has 4 endings or ‘heads’, all of which can be utilized for copy with the feminine. 

But it will get weirder; when the echidna has intercourse, two of the 4 heads are engorged whereas the others are flaccid.

What’s extra, the feminine has two separate reproductive tracts which take a penis head every throughout intercourse.

Having 4 heads on the penis could also be to please the feminine, who scientists imagine might mate with as much as a dozen males whereas ovulating. 

Photos of the creature’s equipment should not for the faint-hearted – and one specific male appears to be like useless happy with what he is acquired. 

The echidna is native to Australia, has spiky pines, a bird-like beak, a pouch like a kangaroo and also lays eggs.

The echidna is native to Australia, has spiky pines, a bird-like beak, a pouch like a kangaroo and in addition lays eggs.

The 'very strange and unusual' echidna penis remains a mystery to researchers who still don't understand why it has four heads

The ‘very unusual and weird’ echidna penis stays a thriller to researchers who nonetheless do not perceive why it has 4 heads 

In case you wished extra fascinating intercourse details concerning the male short-beaked echidna, its testes are inside (they by no means descend) and it has no scrotum.

Also, when not in use, the penis is saved internally and their ejaculate comprises bundles of as much as 100 sperm that swim cooperatively till they attain the egg.

In most different species, sperm swim individually and it’s each sperm for themselves.


Possibly probably the most well-known – and excessive – sexual practices comes courtesy of the praying mantis, the ruthless predatory insect. 

The greater grownup feminine devours the male throughout or after the mating course of, to offer its offspring a supply of diet because it develops.  

Sometimes the feminine partially eats the male earlier than he even mounts her – however somewhat than contemplating this a sexual fake pas, the male carries on regardless.

‘In this case, the headless marvel swings his legs round till his physique touches hers, climbs onto her again, and copulates as if nothing had been amiss,’ writes behavioral ecologist Marty Crump. 

In this photo, taken at Brenne regional nature park in France, a female praying mantis eats the male just after the coupling. This behaviour is common especially when female is starved

In this photograph, taken at Brenne regional nature park in France, a feminine praying mantis eats the male simply after the coupling. This behaviour is frequent particularly when feminine is starved

Pictured, a female South African mantis (Miomantis caffra) specimen laying her eggs. The species is a moderately sized mantid with one of the highest known rates of pre-copulatory cannibalism. More than 60 per cent of sexual interactions end in males being consumed, mostly without mating

Pictured, a feminine South African mantis (Miomantis caffra) specimen laying her eggs. The species is a reasonably sized mantid with one of many highest identified charges of pre-copulatory cannibalism. More than 60 per cent of sexual interactions finish in males being consumed, largely with out mating

What is sexual cannibalism?  

Sexual cannibalism is the weird act displayed by many species of consuming a sexual companion.

The cannibalism can occur throughout, after and even earlier than copulation has taken place. 

The killing and consumption of mates has been described by ecologist Jutta M. Schneider because the ‘final instance of sexual battle’. 

Females are often the cannibals, and males the victims. 


Some of essentially the most brave mantis males wrestle with their feminine mate in an try and keep away from being eaten – leading to a violent and dramatic battle.  

There are greater than 2,400 completely different species of mantises, or mantodea, who’ve been given the extra ‘praying’ as a consequence of its prayer-like posture.

Around 90 per cent of the predatory species of mantises present sexual cannibalism, in keeping with a 2009 paper


Another sexually cannibalistic species is the orb-web spider (Nephilengys malabarensis), however the male has an ingenious resolution to assist it survive. 

Its sperm-transferring organs referred to as ‘palps’ – situated on the facet of its head and analogous to penises – might be indifferent from the remainder of its physique. 

It means the male spider can depart its penis to complete inseminating the feminine whereas making its exit, lowering the chance of it being killed. 

This type of ‘distant copulation’ will increase the entire quantity of sperm transferred, and is believed to spice up probabilities of the male turning into a father. 

Pictured, an orb-web spider female with a severed male palp (in red) still lodged in her sexual organs. The smaller, half-eaten mate is to the left

Pictured, an orb-web spider feminine with a severed male palp (in purple) nonetheless lodged in her sexual organs. The smaller, half-eaten mate is to the left

An added bonus of the removable penis is it would ‘function a plug’ to forestall different males from mating with the feminine, a 2012 examine stated.

Losing its maidhood additionally means it weighs much less, which makes it extra agile and capable of fend off different males. 


Banana slugs – named in recognition of their brilliant yellow color – are hermaphroditic, that means they’ve each female and male reproductive organs.

They often cross-mate, with each slugs delivering sperm and laying eggs, however in rarer instances they even fertilise themselves. 

Two banana slugs may even have interaction in an elaborate courtship dance, the place the circle one another, prod one another with their tails and nibble at one another’s our bodies.

They finally intertwine earlier than intercourse begins, which might take a number of hours as the 2 take turns transferring sperm from one to the opposite.

A banana slug’s male genitalia might be so long as its total physique, making its penis-to-body ratio one of many largest identified to scientists. 

Banana slugs usually cross-mate, with both slugs delivering sperm and laying eggs, but in rarer cases they even fertilise themselves

Banana slugs often cross-mate, with each slugs delivering sperm and laying eggs, however in rarer instances they even fertilise themselves

Male banana slugs should select their mate rigorously as a result of if the feminine is just too small their penis would possibly get caught.

Unable to tug out afterwards, the one choice left is to chunk off the opposite slug’s reproductive organ.


Porcupines are into what can solely be described as a really area of interest sexual fetish.  

It entails the male drenching the feminine in urine from round seven ft (two metres) away.

If she is just not able to mate, she shakes off the urine and leaves. 

Porcupines are into what can only be described as a very niche sexual fetish involving urine (file photo)

Porcupines are into what can solely be described as a really area of interest sexual fetish involving urine (file photograph)

But if it turns her on and he or she is impressed together with his pheromones, then they may mate, and he or she will not let him cease till he is bodily exhausted.

When that occurs, the insatiable feminine finds one other prickly companion with a full bladder.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, porcupine intercourse may be very uncommon as females are solely receptive to sexual advances for between eight and 12 hours per yr.

You might think about that porcupine intercourse can be a prickly affair as a consequence of their sharp spines, however actually, each animals calm down their spines to keep away from harm.


Deep-sea anglerfish take sexual intimacy to the following degree by ‘fusing’ our bodies with their companions once they mate. 

In an incredible present of sexual submission, the smaller male anglerfish turns into completely hooked up to the comparatively gigantic feminine.

This leads to their tissue fusing and the 2 animals establishing a standard blood circulation system, a 2020 examine discovered. 

In this photo, it's easy to miss the male anglerfish attached to the much bigger female. Look at her belly, towards the bottom of the photo

In this photograph, it is easy to overlook the male anglerfish hooked up to the a lot greater feminine. Look at her stomach, in direction of the underside of the photograph

The male turns into completely depending on the feminine for nutrient provide, like a creating fetus within the womb of a mom – a course of referred to as ‘sexual parasitism’. 

In an unimaginable show of charity from the feminine, the male provides sperm to his mate whereas concurrently receiving these vitamins. 

Ultimately, what appears bizarre to us about one other animal’s erotic practices comes from hundreds of years of evolution – and it is price allowing for that we’re not so regular ourselves. 

Humans are one of many few species which have intercourse for pleasure and stress reduction, and to determine emotional connections with one another.

Our penchant for weird sexual fetishes – from bondage to voyeurism and feederism – additionally actually units us aside. 

Female black widow spiders begin EATING their companion earlier than they’ve even completed mating – earlier than transferring on to a different male 

Female black widow spiders begin consuming their companion in the midst of sperm switch throughout copulation. 

Researchers in Canada described the disturbing mating behaviour of a black widow spider species endemic to South America, referred to as Latrodectus mirabilis. 

Cannibalism between the 2 sexes is initiated by females ‘by way of leg greedy and piercing throughout mating’.

In the lab, 70 per cent of females cannibalised their first mate, however this quantity jumped to 85 per cent if the feminine had mated beforehand. 

The freshly deceased cannibalised male may additionally be much less more likely to turn into a mother or father, as a result of the feminine is then free to copulate with different males. 

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