Absurd Creature of the Week: This Marsupial Has
In the forests of Australia, every year just before spring, there erupts a sexual frenzy unlike any other on Earth. It’s bigger than an ultra-romantic Neil Diamond concert, bigger even than spring break in Cancun. Here a tiny hyperactive marsupial called antechinus sprints around mating almost non-stop for an exhausting three weeks, with single romps lasting as long as 14 straight hours.
Males relentlessly bound from partner to partner, as massive hormone releases in their bodies cause their immune systems to crash and their fur to fall out. They bleed internally. Some males even go blind, yet still stumble around the leaf litter hoping for one last tryst. In a few short weeks, every single male lies dead, leaving the females to raise their offspring. And so it seems that in perpetually dangerous Australia, even the sex can kill you.
For these three weeks of sexual kamikaze, antechinus males are concerned with nothing-absolutely nothing-other than mating with as many females as they possibly can. Ecologist Andrew Baker of Australia’s Queensland University of Technology, who studies these critters’ astonishing habits, has even picked up a copulating pair, who ignored him entirely and went about their business in his hands. “It’s pretty frenzied,” said Baker. “There’s no courtship or anything like that. The males basically just grab the females and go for it.”
Charles linked this & it just HAD to be paged!