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Here’s Why We’re Not Overrun With Adorable Baby Giant Pandas

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo has been part of an international effort to breed highly endangered giant pandas in captivity ever since Richard Nixon visited China in 1972. But in 43 years, they’ve had only two solid successes–cubs Tai Shan and Bao Bao. They hope the new twins born this weekend will make it four. » 8/25/15 2:00pm Tuesday 2:00pm

How Lurking Predators Changed the Size of the Mosquitofish's Genitals

Female mosquitofish give birth to tiny babies, like the guppies you may remember from your third-grade aquarium. That means male mosquitofish don’t spawn: if they’re going to be dads, they need to use a modified fin (called a gonopodium) to inseminate their mate. And sex with a long, stiff fin demands a daunting level… » 8/25/15 11:00am Tuesday 11:00am

A New Option for Crocodile Birth Control 

When they live in zoos, Mugger crocodiles happily mate and lay eggs. Maybe a little too happily: when they produce two clutches of 25 to 30 eggs each year, a zoo is quickly going be swamped by little croc babies. And rampant habitat loss means that there are fewer places to return them to the wild. What zoos need is… » 8/18/15 7:20pm 8/18/15 7:20pm

When You Have an Orgasm for No Reason

Imagine you’re playing a video game, maybe walking somewhere, basically minding your own business when the orgasm arrives. No arousal, no physical stimulation, no buildup, no control: just an instantaneous shift from status quo to woaaah. It’s called an orgasmic seizure. Here’s what scientists are learning from people… » 8/18/15 2:30pm 8/18/15 2:30pm

The Unusual Mating Habits of This Octopus Totally Blow Biologists' Minds

We all know the sad story of octopus sex, right? They live alone until it’s time to find a mate, they have sex a few times, then the males die. Females live a little longer to lay eggs, but die soon after they hatch. Turns out that the (still officially unnamed) Larger Pacific Striped Octopus breaks all the rules. » 8/12/15 5:00pm 8/12/15 5:00pm

9 Animals That Masturbate (Other Than Humans)

Humans didn’t invent masturbation. We get the urge because our ancestors did too, even back to the earliest mammals and reptiles. It’s likely that as soon as animals evolved brain circuitry that made stimulating sexual organs rewarding, individuals started taking the opportunity to reward themselves.
» 8/12/15 3:30pm 8/12/15 3:30pm

How That Butt-to-Butt Stage of Dog Mating Happens

If you’ve ever watched a pair of dogs have sex, you’ve probably noticed something odd happen partway through the act. At first, the male grips the female’s back and humps away–nothing unusual about it. But then he dismounts and turns to face away from his mate, with his penis still stuck inside her. » 8/11/15 2:31pm 8/11/15 2:31pm

Here is a Cactus Bribing a Bat to Help it Have Sex 

The deep, bell-shaped flowers of the saguaro cactus use a strong melony scent to tell the bats that pollinate them they’re open for business, but they hide the nectar the bats want to lick up deep inside their base. If the bat wants to eat, it has to shove its face into the dozens of pollen-covered anthers inside the… » 8/07/15 1:00am 8/07/15 1:00am

Australia's Most Infamous Invasive Species Has a Problem with Breeding

Cane toads were first released in Australia in 1935 as part of a government program to control the insects attacking the Queensland cane crop. It didn’t work. Ever since, the toads have been spreading across the country, as fast as they can breed. Which would be even faster, if it weren’t for an odd quirk in their… » 7/14/15 7:15pm 7/14/15 7:15pm

There Is a Deadly Secret Hidden in This Fish's Parenting Plan

This is the stickleback. The males of the species have a reputation for being wonderful fathers. They are so baby-crazy that if their nests are empty they will steal the eggs of other males, just to get a little something to watch over. But, wait! Just how did their nests become empty in the first place?
» 7/08/15 6:30am 7/08/15 6:30am