Dying for sex: it’s a male marsupial thing

In what may be the ultimate sacrifice for lust, Australian scientists have discovered why the males of some species of marsupial are dying for sex.

Scientists have pondered for decades why the males of more than a dozen native species of insect-eating marsupials, including many small rodent-sized antechinus and phascogales, die not long after mating.

A team led by Diana Fisher, of the University of Queensland, has confirmed the behaviour, known as dying off , was driven by the males’ attempts to out-compete each other to father offspring during the short time females were fertile.

<em>Illustration: Cathy Wilcox</em>Illustration: Cathy Wilcox

“The [males] spend all their energy mating,” Dr Fisher, an Australian Research Council future fellow, said. “They have lots of partners. They have really long mating sessions, up to 12 to 14 hours in the case of antechinus.”

The long and laborious sex sessions were driven by high levels of certain hormones, which, as a consequence, had a detrimental effect on the marsupials’ survival.

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Categories: Sex

5 Comments on “Dying for sex: it’s a male marsupial thing”

  1. October 8, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Reblogged this on Christina Mandara and commented:
    Dying for Love… However, anyone who manages to have mating sessions of between 12 -14 hours, has my thumbs up.

  2. October 8, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Wow that’s some mating session! Reblogged 😉

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Dying for sex: it’s a male marsupial thing. […]

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