Tag Archive: reproduction

Apr 30

Animal Record Holder: Longest Sperm

The male fruit fly has giant testes. They account for 11% of his body mass. And for good reason. In most animal species, the female produces relatively few eggs and the male produces vast quantities of sperm, but the fruit fly does it a little differently. The male fruit only makes a few sperm cells …

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Apr 12

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Green Spoon Worm

‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’. It’s a well-known saying that highlights just how different men and women really are. And it’s the same throughout the natural world: males often look and behave very differently to females because of the separate roles they play. It’s a topic we’ve covered before on this blog …

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Sep 21

Girls Will be Boys: Spotted Hyenas

According to Sigmund Freud, penis envy is when a girl, at some point during her psychosexual development, realises and reacts to the fact she does not have a penis. Supposedly, it’s a defining moment in a woman’s sexual identity. But one animal that certainly doesn’t have penis envy is the female spotted hyena – and …

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Sep 05

Minibeast Safari

No African safari is complete without seeing rhinos, giraffes or lions. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a leopard. All four are big, high-profile animals, worthy of anyone’s bucket list. But beneath our feet (or possibly crawling over them) are minibeasts that share the same name as the megafauna mentioned above – the leopard …

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Aug 30

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Deep-Sea Anglerfish

The deep-sea anglerfish never looks happy. I can understand why. You’d be pretty cranky all the time, too, if you were that profoundly ugly and lived a few miles down in the lonely, completely lightless and desolate habitat that is the great ocean abyss. Life can’t get much bleaker. Or can it? Well, for a …

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Aug 30

A Cuckoo in the Nest

Being a parent is tough. All you have to look forward to is less sleep, less time to do your own things, and generally one or more hungry mouths to feed. Raising young is a very energetically demanding activity, so the cuckoo has done away with it altogether. It appears in the British Isles in …

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Aug 24

The Panda Predicament

It was reported a couple of weeks ago that Tian Tian, the female giant panda currently housed at Edinburgh Zoo, might be pregnant. She was artificially inseminated in April of this year after failed mating attempts with the zoo’s resident male, Yang Guang, and is now apparently showing hormonal and behavioural indications of pregnancy. None …

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Aug 18

Plight of the Penguins

Imagine, if you will, that you are standing in the centre of the Antarctic continent. It is the middle of winter. It is almost pitch black because the sun hasn’t risen for several weeks, and it won’t make an appearance for another few months yet. The only light comes from the southern lights – the …

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