What is the strangest mating habit among animals

5 amazing ways animals shed their sperm

Guys, be glad you're not frogfish.

In some species of deep-sea frogfish, such as Neoceratias spinifer, the male bites into the female, which is often ten times the size of the male, and begins to dissolve and merge with the female until it is nothing but testicles - a store of sperm the female will use to make hers To fertilize eggs.

So far, so crazy, but how, @Raakxhyr asks the Crazy Animal Question of the Week on Twitter, do those sperm get to the eggs?

All the action takes place outside of the body, says Marah J. Hardt, author of "Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection with Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep." release their sperm and the females release their eggs, which are then fertilized in the water.

However, it is not clear which of the fish - the female or the parasitic male - controls sperm release. "Since the end of the tail protrudes," says Hardy, the male can release his sperm at the same time as their eggs.

Before we put all frogfish in the same box, it should be noted that not all of their males are so clingy. In some species, such as the striped frogfish, males and females meet to release their sperm and eggs into the water.

In others, like the hunchbacked frogfish, the males attach themselves to the females, but let go again after fertilization.


Parasitic frogfish aren't the only animals with creative mating habits.

Male squids give the females packets of sperm called spermatophores. They stick the packets to the females, for example with a tentacle, “technically speaking a hectocotylus” or “a reproductive organ that works like a huge penis,” says Hardt. Once attached - to the coat around the head - the sperm digs into the skin. After that, what's going on is a mystery, but Hardt says that some species of females have sperm containers that pass the eggs on or grab them as needed.