How Female Animals Choose Which Male Animals Get to Bang Them


Choosing a mate is a funny thing. While other animal species are probably less likely to make the poor alcohol-fueled choices most of us regret, albeit fondly—and less likely still to wake up in a hungover fog in a strange place the next morning, grabbing articles of clothing up off the floor and checking the waste… » 1/09/15 4:10pm 1/09/15 4:10pm

Your Penis Is Getting in the Way of My Science

Earlier today, scientists announced they'd discovered an insect with a new kind of female sex organ. It looks a bit like a penis, and is called a gynosome. But almost every news outlet covered the story by describing the insects as "females with penises." This isn't just painfully wrong — it's bad for science. » 4/17/14 5:06pm 4/17/14 5:06pm

Men Without Beards Could Soon Have An Evolutionary Advantage

Hipsters take note: Beards may be all the rage — and they might be making you more attractive for now — but this is a fashion trend that could ultimately be the cause of its own undoing. » 4/16/14 12:40pm 4/16/14 12:40pm

Plants Use Weapons To Compete Against Each Other During Reproduction

It's not uncommon for males of various species to physically battle it out in an effort to win over females. But plants, because they can't move or fully sense their environment, don't partake in this reproductive process. Well, at least that's what we thought. » 3/20/14 1:40pm 3/20/14 1:40pm

Forget feathers -- this dinosaur had a rooster's comb on its head

When scientists discovered that some dinosaurs had feathers, it completely changed our perception of what the ancient animals looked like — and pissed a lot of people off. Now, in another twist, researchers have found that the duck-billed dinosaur Edmontosaurus regalis had a fleshy crest similar to a rooster's comb. » 12/13/13 2:13pm 12/13/13 2:13pm

Did men create menopause by chasing after younger women?

From an evolutionary perspective, human menopause doesn’t make a lot of sense. Searching for an explantion for this somewhat uniquely human process, a group of Canadian researchers used computer models to show that menopause is an unintended outcome of natural selection — and men's sexual preferences might be to blame. » 6/13/13 2:20pm 6/13/13 2:20pm

How does the rhino beetle's gigantic horn not totally mess with its…

Seriously, look at the size of the thing sticking out of that beetle's head, and that's not even the maximum size those things grow to. All male rhino beetles have these giant horns growing out of their heads as a way of showing off their sexual prowess to any female rhino beetles that might be around. Crazy, unwieldy… » 3/17/13 4:00pm 3/17/13 4:00pm

What human traits were evolved only for sexual attractiveness?

Some traits get passed down because they help animals stay alive. Some traits get passed down because they enhance fertility. And some traits get passed down because they just make creatures more sexually attractive. » 6/12/12 4:35pm 6/12/12 4:35pm

Ugliness is nature's way of keeping species from interbreeding

Some species share the exact same territories, rely on the exact same resources, and are sufficiently closely related that they can easily interbreed. So why don't these just merge into a single population? Because they simply don't want to interbreed. » 4/01/12 3:00pm 4/01/12 3:00pm

Meet the only known species with brainier males than females

Brain size can vary tremendously between species. For instance, the average human head holds around three pounds of cerebral matter; your typical chimp, on the other hand, packs about a third of that. » 2/02/12 8:15am 2/02/12 8:15am

Female chickens have the weirdest birth control method ever

Female chickens are among the most promiscuous members of the animal kingdom, with wild and domestic fowl alike tending to mate with way more males than necessary to fertilize their eggs. » 8/26/11 8:00am 8/26/11 8:00am

The Bigger Your Weapon, The Smaller Your Balls - If You're A Beetle

To compete for mates, male beetles often grow fierce mandibles that they use to fight other males. Unfortunately, there's a tradeoff. Researchers in Japan discovered that beetles with longer mandible weapons have smaller testicles and less ejaculate than their brethren. » 2/04/10 6:30am 2/04/10 6:30am

Why Aggressive Men Finish Last

Among the tiny insects known as water striders, males who aggressively attempt to mate with females don't wind up with as many offspring as their more gentlemanly counterparts. How can aggressive mating ever be a losing strategy? » 11/06/09 7:30am 11/06/09 7:30am

Species Diversity Not Caused By Environment

Accepted scientific wisdom holds that new species arise because of geographic separation - the same bird evolves differently on two different islands. But a new study overturns this idea, challenging the importance of environment as a driver of evolution. » 7/17/09 2:31pm 7/17/09 2:31pm

Science Still Cannot Explain Why Women Sleep Around

Seed beetles are polyandrous – females mate with multiple males, and choose which sperm will fertilize their eggs afterward. Scientists long believed they did this to get the best sperm. But a new study shows the fittest males always lose. » 6/25/09 11:47am 6/25/09 11:47am

Europeans Pick Mates By Smell More Often than Africans Do

Scientists have known for a while that humans seem to pick mates partly based on the way they smell. That's because a person's smell is related to their Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), a cluster of genes that shape a person's immune system. For years, scientists have debated whether people pick mates based on… » 9/12/08 3:20pm 9/12/08 3:20pm

Why Nature Prefers a Small Man to Mate with a Big Woman

If you watch enough TV, you get the idea that the ideal mating combination is a skinny little woman and a burly man. But a new evolutionary study published in American Naturalist » 9/05/08 1:47pm 9/05/08 1:47pm shows that's not what nature intended. In fact, the humble New Zealand weta (a relative of the cricket) demonstrates that evolution often…