This might be the most disgusting and bizarre thing in the animal kingdom

Greg Evans
Friday 29 December 2017 15:00
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Picture:(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If you have ever lived in a house with a pond there is a strong chance that the small body of water has attracted a fair few frogs in its time.

Via: Giphy(Giphy)

These little amphibians are mostly fine and don't really cause any sort of hassle.

But things can get a little nasty when it comes to mating season.

A number of frog species go through a period called "explosive breeding" that sees male frogs compete with other males in order to mate with a female.

Often they only have the option of mating with one female as the ladies are only fertile for a short amount of time. This results in lots of males trying to have sex with the female at the same time.

As frogs tend to mate in the water this can, unfortunately, lead to the death of the female either by being crushed or drowning.

It really doesn't sound like that much fun for the female but is an unfortunate reality in the frog world.

If that sounds thoroughly depressing then spare a thought for the Rhinella proboscidea.

Picture: Rhinella proboscidea (Wikipedia Commons)

This is an Amazonian frog species where the death of a female isn't necessarily a deal-breaker.

Research from Brazil's National Institute of Amazonian Research has discovered that male frog can still fertilise the eggs of a deceased female.

This process involves a male latching onto the corpse of a female and rhythmically rubbing itself against her.

Eventually, the movements will become so intense that the eggs will be squeezed out of the woman as if they were peas from a pod.

This then allows for the male to quickly fertilize the eggs with his sperm. Thiago Izzo, the lead researcher on the study has dubbed this sensation as "functional necrophilia strategy."

In the study, published in the Journal of Natural History, Izzo writes:

The males of the small Amazonian frog Rhinella proboscidea can promote the ejection of oocytes [female reproduction cells] from the abdominal cavities of dead females and fertilize them.

This behaviour can minimise losses to both partners during explosive reproduction events.

The existence of such a “functional necrophile strategy” shows that there may be possible selection in favour of stronger and more persistent males in explosive breeders.

A National Geographic report on the study claims that Izzo saw several mating sites in the Adolfo Ducke Forest Reserve where numerous female corpses were found.

While this is a grim reality for the female frogs it is possibly the only way that they can guarantee the continuation of their species.

It also saves that one lone male from wrestling all the other males for nothing.

It's not much of a silver lining but it's something.

HT Digg

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