Why do Male Octopuses Die after Mating? (How does Octopus Senescence work?)

Death is inevitable for male octopuses once they’ve mated because they stop feeding, they become uncoordinated, often attracting predators in the wild, and they lose the ability to heal their skin. This period near the end of life, called senescence, is driven by secretions from the optic gland that trigger the reproductive organs while inactivating … Read more

Why do Lions Have Manes? (Do Dark Manes Mean More Sex?)

lion mane close up

In our travels throughout South Africa, we’ve always treasured our memories of viewing lions in the wild. When observing lions up close, we’ve wondered “why do the males have manes?” And why is there so much variation in the color of manes? Are the dark ones sexier? Research is showing that the main role of … Read more

How do Octopus Reproduce? (Cannibalistic Sex and a Detachable Member)

I have written this article to give wider exposure to some fascinating scientific insights into the complicated mating habits of octopuses. Most male octopus have a specialized extra-long arm called the hectocotylus to deliver sperm from a distance.  This is an adaptation to mating with cannibalistic females that frequently kill and eat males during or … Read more

How Do Anglerfish Mate? (Endless Sex or Die Trying?!)

Anglerfish Wikimedia

I’ve given hundreds of science lectures over the years, and one of my favorite creatures of all time is the Anglerfish.  Here are some highlights regarding the amazing life of anglerfish and their weird sex habits. In some species of anglerfish, the male has one goal – to find a female and latch onto her … Read more

Why Are Male Animals More Beautiful and Colorful? Sexual Selection! With Photos

A peacock is displaying its colorful feathers, showcasing sexual selection.

As a biologist, I find myself marveling at the amazingly complex rituals, colorful outfits, and tricky dance routines that various animals, and humans, have developed to attract a mate.  Join me as we view the world through the eyes of a biologist and look at the science of sexual selection. Animals have evolved specific physical … Read more