Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Love, Sex and Cannibalism

I learned something the other day while working in the school library that I thought I'd share. (Those that think I post everything with a stern face, please stop reading now...)

The female praying mantis is often referred to as an example (proof in nature) of the voraciousness of the female gender. My entire life I assumed the oft touted biting off the the male mantis' head was a post-coital event...and had more to do with the male's lackluster performance than the ornery nature of the female.

Here's what I learned: The ensure the male doesn't get away (like the male Black Widow that has mastered the art of the hasty retreat), the female mantis actually bites the head off and eats it DURING the deed. But wait, it gets better... "...Decapitated, dismembered or not, the male still manages to complete the act before dying." (source: Wild, Wild World of Animals: Insects and Spiders)

I knew the brain wasn't located in the head on the shoulders! ;) Don't fret though, Dad's digested head goes on to provide the sustenance for the eggs the female will lay --nature's way of avoiding the hassle's of family court later in life...

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