Animals have weird ways of showing each other how they feel about one another. Some of them give each other gifts!
Others grab a bite to eat.
Still others put on a snazzy tuxedo and bring their mate a beautiful rock to profess their love.
No matter what you do though, you have to admit, there are a few animals who do things… well, stranger than the rest. And several of them can be found at your Akron Zoo!
If you guessed that honey bee mating is as sweet as the name, you’ve got another thing coming. Honey bees mate mid-flight, and this acrobatic endeavor is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the males, quite literally! Once two bees connect, the male’s abdominal muscle and reproductive organ are ripped out and left inside of the females. The males die shortly thereafter.
Snails are in fact hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs. This gives them the unique ability to self-fertilize. However, self-fertilization is extremely rare, and most snails choose to mate with each other instead.
Rather than choosing which snail will act as male and which will act as female, both snails impregnate each other by stabbing the other with their “love darts,” a nickname given to their sharp reproductive organ. Mating this way has worked out well for the species overall, but it does take its toll on some snails - repeated stabbing can be a killer.
Does This Make Me Look Fat?
Pufferfish are the shy art students of the animal kingdom. Instead of spending their time searching for females, male pufferfish spend days creating symmetrical designs in the sand! The circular patterns are made by the pufferfish flapping his fins against the seafloor to disrupt the sediment, and can be as much as six feet across! If a female likes the design, she will lay her eggs in the middle of the circle.
Love Doesn’t Drag-on
Much like the snail, female Komodo dragons are able to give birth without any involvement from their male counterpart. Within the last 15 years, scientists have discovered that, depending on environmental conditions, some females reproduce sexually while others fertilize their own eggs. Strong, independent female dragons don’t need a man!
So whether you are enjoying this Valentine's Day independently, or you have weird plans with your own mates, we hope you have a phenomenal day! And if you have the time, feel free to visit the amazing animals at your Akron Zoo!
By Erica Rymer, Events and Marketing Specialist. Published Feb. 14, 2019.