Researchers Discover Sex Addicted Mammal That Dies During Making Love
Scientists have discovered a new species of Australian marsupial that is so addicted to sex that it literally dies while performing it. The black-tailed antechinus are found in high altitudes in the wet areas of southeast Queensland and northwest New South Wales.
In the process, exertion raises the stress hormone levels dramatically which causes males' system to shutdown proving those feverish marsupial orgies fatal.
"It's frenetic, there's no courtship; the males will just grab the females and both will mate promiscuously," Andrew Baker, head of the research team from the Queensland University of Technology who made the discovery, told Reuters.
In the past years, Baker's research team has found three new species of antechinus. Animals belonging to the antechinus genus are mainly found in the regions of Australia and New Guinea. These small mammals are carnivorous who feed on invertebrates like spiders, beetles and weevils.
Several theories have been postulated about the benefits of suicidal reproduction. Among them the one is that the practice evolved as a way to ensure the survival of the offspring during food shortages.
"We found that males of species with shorter mating seasons are less likely to survive after mating," Diana Fisher, an ecologist at the University of Queensland, told National Geographic. "Competitive effort has a survival cost- species that spend more energy on mating in the first breeding season risk never having another chance to breed."
Another idea is that after dying, males have a better chances of passing on their genes.
"Given that there's likely a trade-off between how much effort you put into reproduction and your chances of survival to the next year, it's much easier to make the choice of putting everything into reproduction now if your chances of surviving to the next year are really low anyway," Truman Young, an ecologist at the University of California, Davis, told National Geographic.
The details of the new species has been published in the journal Zootaxa.