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5 More Things That Smithsonian Taught Me About Sex

5 More Things That Smithsonian Taught Me About Sex

5 More Things That Smithsonian Taught Me About Sex

You know how animals reproduce or how they take part in reproduction. You don't know that there are some strange facts about certain species concerning sex that you didn't know. From suicidal penetration, tasting the pee, and bi-gendered insects to painful penetrations, some weird things go on this earth that you had no idea of.

Whether you are a fan of artifacts and history, you know that The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum, research, and educational complex. Its reputation goes a long way as an institution for knowledge on everything natural. With its publications, you will discover anything you need to know about the natural world. With this in mind, ever wondered what the weirdest sex facts ever published by the Smithsonian are. If so, here are some weird sex facts from the Smithsonian.

Taste Before Intercourse 

Abram et al. (2017) explained that you are aware that males of any species will detect when a female of the same species is on heat. It applies to most animal species, but the detection method will differ from one animal species to another. But the giraffe’s way of noticing whether their counterpart female species is on heat will sound strange to some. Giraffes experience fertility cycles similar to those of humans. To evaluate their female's receptiveness to reproduction, the male species will sip her pee; yes, taste the urine of the female to check its hormones. According to Smithsonian, this is the easiest way to ensure that the male doesn't waste time persuading the female into sex if she is not likely to have given birth. It's consensual, and female giraffes encourage it too. However, the female giraffe is the one to select the male who she is to allow tasting directly from the source. Remember that a Giraffe's pregnancy is 15 months long, which is quite important.

Suicidal Penetration

Iordan (2016) explained that having a close resemblance to a mouse, the antechinus is a mammal that will appear adorable. Its sexuality, however, will astonish you, especially the power of the male antechinus. Bet you had no idea that a male antechinus can have sex for up to fourteen hours straight. It is too much, and the unrelenting male will have sex with any female antechinus around it as much as possible to the point where its fur falls off, and it dies. You can also call it suicidal reproduction, however ridiculous as the vigorous, organ-shedding sex is just how antechinus males beat each other in a race to father the most offspring. It is based on the narrative that the more sperm a male can release, the more victorious one will be. So you can say that the male antechinus has only one chance of passing all his genes to as many offspring as possible, so every second counts.

Pain or pleasure

Of course, not everyone has encountered bedbugs on a personal level. But have you ever thought about how these annoying creatures mate or reproduce? It will surprise you as theirs, unlike the suicidal reproduction of the antechinus, theirs is more of stabby mating. You read that right; it involves stabbing. You may wonder, but this is the case. When a male bedbug is ready to reproduce, they mount on a female and stabs them in the abdomen, possibly because of their needle dick, then proceeds to ejaculate into the wound. It would be best if you also worried since the female should have recently fed to facilitate reproduction. The work of the female reproductive tract will only be to produce the eggs. According to Smithsonian, this experience is 'violent', and the females may sometimes protect themselves by curling up and making themselves impenetrable. They also recover at quite a faster speed than even humans would. 

Ambigendered Insects

Maiz (2018) explained that scientific reproductive facts about flea-sized lice would leave your jaws open in astonishment. The Neutral barklice are the most distinguishable for their gender-convenient sexual roles. In their case, the females are the ones who carry a penis-like organ called glycosomes which are used to penetrate the vagina-like genitals of their males. There heteronormativity. If that's not enough, their sex can last up to seventy hours; yes, one whole hour and ten minutes, and the female uses their glycosomes to siphon sperm from the male's body. However, this sperm is highly nutritious and will supply nutrients to the female needed for its survival during the whole intercourse. These are just facts about the Neotralga Barklice reproduction.

Angling For Satisfaction

Ivasauskas et al. (2017) explained that the image of an angler fish would send a cold chill down your spine. With its long, glowing bauble hanging above its terrifying jaws of death, you never want to encounter this fish. But this is the female version; the males are boring and less terrifying, just a small bag of sperm. Male angler fish, rather than using their eyes, sniff their way to accomplish their one goal in life: finding a mate, supplying sperms, then dying. Quite a boring lifestyle, one would agree. These fish are so poorly developed that most don't even have a working digestive tract.

Only a very small number of these fish get to reproduce. The rest drift and die sexless and alone. According to Smithsonian, once a male locates the female, he will press his mouth to her flank and start to disintegrate, fusing the pairs of organs. Interestingly, when doing this, the male's organ will melt to a point where what remains is little more than a pair of testes and gills. Few females may carry more than six males on their bodies simultaneously, reproducing at will.


With this knowledge, you probably wonder what else you don't know about the vast knowledge. There you have it; sex is not the same in every species. Of course, you knew this, but you had no idea it would go to a certain extent like the ones above. Your thoughts won't be the same as before whenever you think about these animals. Anyway, it's just nature, and the more you know about it, the more you discover how interesting the earth is.


Abram, P. K., Boivin, G., Moiroux, J., & Brodeur, J. (2017). Behavioral effects of temperature on ectothermic animals: unifying thermal physiology and behavioral plasticity. Biological Reviews92(4), 1859-1876.

Iordan, F. (2016). Small Mammal Dynamics Within a Natural River Corridor, Fiume Tagliamento, NE Italy (Doctoral dissertation, King's College London).

Ivasauskas, T. J., Xiong, W. N., Engman, A. C., Fischer, J. R., Kwak, T. J., & Rundle, K. R. (2017). Relationships among catch, angler satisfaction, and fish assemblage characteristics of an urban small impoundment fishery. Journal of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies4, 31-38.

Maiz, J. S. (2018). San Francisco, California Spring 2018 (Doctoral dissertation, San Francisco State University).