It's Valentine's Day!
Have you given your sweetheart something special today??
Did you know that humans aren't the only creatures who give each other gifts in hopes that they'll get laid?
All sorts of other creatures do it too!!
Snails give each other hormone injections so they don't reject a partner's sperm!
Check out a whole bunch more AFTER THE JUMP!!
[Image via Jangle1969/Wikimedia Commons.]
Bowerbirds building complex sex patios outside of nests made of bones, rocks and shells to impress their mates!
[Image via L.A. Kelley/Science.]
Male spiders of the species P. ornata literally give females silk wrapped prey as a gift! So cute! (We never thought we'd say that about spiders! LOLz!)
[Image via Maria J. Albo/Animal Behaviour.]
Another type of spider, nursery-web spiders, are interesting in their mating. The male also gives the female a silk wrapped gift, but because female nursery-web spiders are cannibalistic towards males, the male plays dead immediately after giving her the gift. As soon as she starts eating, he miraculously recovers and gets down to business.
[Image via Maria J. Albo/BMC Evolutionary Biology.]
Male fireflies give females spermatophore gifts. They're gelatinous packets that contain sperm and nutrients for the females who actually rely on them for food! Gross/cute!
[Image via Brandon Keim/Wired Bottom.]
Eurasian jays give gifts of food to their mates not to impress them, but to strength the bond between them! They mate for life! Super adorbz!
[Image via Nicola Clayton/PNAS.]
Insects aren't the only ones who leave females spermatophores. Salamanders do too! Gross again! LOLz!
[Image via Lynne Houck/Oregon State University.]
Six-spot burnet moths release cyanide when injured, but making cyanide really takes a lot out of them. So males gift females with cyanide, so the female doesn't have to expend nutrients and energy making her own! Give a girl poison as a gift? Truth is stranger than fiction!
[Image via BerndH/Wikimedia Commons.]
Male scorpionflies offer females a pheromone and nutrient-filled spitball to eat while they mate! Yuck! Some run out of spit and then offer her a dead insect to munch on.
[Image via Daryl Gwynne/University of Toronto.]
Many species of squid don't give females gifts in the traditional sense… they shoot them full of sperm harpoons! That doesn't sound too friendly…
[Image via Hoving et al./The Biological Bulletin.]
What's actually surprising is that chimps, like you'd think, being so closely related to us, don't actually give each other gifts. They just get straight to the boot knocking!
[Image via Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.]
Grasshoppers also use spermatophores! They can produce two kinds, one is lacking in nutrients but easy to make so they can make a bunch and have several partners. The other is nutrient rich but difficult to produce, and only allows them to mate once or twice before they die. The female tend to prefer the nutrient rich ones! Ha!
[Image via Jay McCartney.]