— The New Daily (@TheNewDailyAu) June 1, 2015
We’ve all heard stories of people dying during the act, but this is just ridiculous.
Two newly-discovered species of the antechinus, a tiny Australian marsupial, are bringing public attention back to the animals’ bizarre mating habits. To put it bluntly: they sex to death.
Antechinus have long been known for their morbid reproduction practices. Each spring, the male animals are overcome by hormones that cause them to mate uncontrollably with as many females as possible. During this two-to-three-week cycle, the males hardly eat or sleep, which causes them to become severely exhausted and extremely stressed. By the end of the mating window, the males drop dead.
This morbid habit actually serves two major evolutionary purposes for the antechinus. First, mating with as many females as possible creates a greater likelihood for offspring, which will preserve the species. Secondly, with a generation of males out of the picture each spring, the females and newborns will have less competition for food. Talk about a selfless father!
Hearing about these animals makes me glad I’m human!
— ScienceAlert (@ScienceAlert) June 2, 2015
At least they can die happy…You won’t believe this species’s mating rituals.