Pesticide Turns Male Frogs Into Females


A commonly used pesticide known as atrazine can turn male frogs into females that are successfully able to reproduce, a new study finds.While previous work has shown atrazine can cause sexual abnormalities in frogs, such as hermaphroditism (having both male and female sex organs), this study is the first to find that atrazine’s effects are long-lasting and can influence reproduction in amphibians.

The results suggest that atrazine, which is a weed killer used primarily on corn crops, could have potentially harmful effects on populations of amphibians, animals that are already experiencing a global decline, said study author Tyrone B. Hayes of the University of California, Berkeley. Atrazine is banned in Europe.And since atrazine interferes with the production of the sex hormone estrogen, present in people and frogs, the findings could have implications for humans as well. “If you have problems in amphibians, you can anticipate problems in other animals,” Hayes said.


Fat Birds Have More Sex


Researcher Wolfgang Goymann and colleagues were studying the migrations of the garden warblers (Sylvia borin) when they discovered an interesting nugget of information:

While pockets of flab accumulated over the winter months may be a source of frustration for some, it can be a cause of joy for others …The researchers fitted ten fat birds and ten lean birds on the Italian island of Ventotene with temporary adhesive radio transmitters. […]

Monitoring their test subjects using the stick-on surveillance bugs, the German boffins found that the more rotund ones had sex sooner and generally slept only one night in any given location. Plumpness led to sexual success for the wobblebottomed group, while their spindly counterparts took longer to get any action – and tended to make longer stays of more than one night, too.


70 Year Old Tortoise Entertains Zoo Visitors With Sexual Behaviour


An amorous tortoise aged 70 has been entertaining visitors at a zoo thanks to his public displays of affection ‘Dirty Dirk’, the Galapagos tortoise, who weighs 31 stone, has been paying particular attention to Dolly, 14, and Dolores, 10.Sebastian Grant, Giant Tortoise keeper at London Zoo, said: “He’s called Dirk because he was so amorous from the moment he got here – literally minutes. “We named him after Dirk Diggler of Boogie Nights. He’s earned his name, and he’s quite willing to go as long as the girls will let him.”

Butterflies Use Penis To Gauge Sex Competition


BUTTERFLY sex is not as elegant an affair as you might think. It seems that male monarch butterflies conduct an all-out sperm war based on a crude measure of how much sperm is stored inside a female from a previous mating.
During sex the males physically restrain the females for an entire day while injecting them with a fluid which contains fertile sperm as well as seemingly functionless cells without nuclei.

Michelle Solensky of The College of Wooster in Ohio paired male monarch butterflies with a selection of females that had had different numbers of partners.

She found that males could selectively increase or decrease the amount of fertile sperm in their deposits. For example, they deposited slightly more into a female for each of her previous mates (Animal Behaviour, DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.10.026). “This may explain earlier observations that the last male to mate has a reproductive advantage,” says Solenksy.

New Frog Species Changes Color With Age, Sex


A new frog species discovered in the Talamanca mountains of southern Costa Rica (see map) sports a range of colors depending on its gender and age.Females are generally black with white belly splotches, such as the one pictured above. The males, meanwhile, have black, white, and brown markings peppering an orange-red base.Young frogs of either sex are mostly brown with some beige and black blotches on their undersides.

This type of color divergence is “amazing” in the Diasporus genus of frog, the discoverers—led by the University of Costa Rica’s Gerardo Chaves—write in the May edition of the journal Zootaxa.

In fact, to “see such striking color differences between male and female frogs [in any genus] is really rare,” said Valerie C. Clark, a Ph.D. student at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, who was not involved in the research.

Sea Lion Dies Of Sex Exhaustion

sea lion
“For Pete’s sake, I’m a sea lion, not a machine!” That’s how we imagine the parting words of Mike, a sea lion who recently died of sex exhaustion on an artificial beach in a zoo in Germany. At least that’s the story given by zoo officials, who say that mating season can be especially taxing on bulls like Mike, who keep a harem of pretty sea lionesses.

We smell something fishy though, and it ain’t ol’ Mikey’s lunch. What if this whole “sex exhaustion” story is just a cover-up for a deeper, sea lion-ier truth? Consider the following as other possibilities:
Mike had three girlfriends. If this were the Maury Povich show, don’t you think one of them would have poisoned him by now? And there he is, dead. Pretty suspicious.
Bucket List
Maybe Mike had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and doing the deed with three foxy sea lions was the last thing on his list? Ever consider that?
Jason Statham Problems
Perhaps Mike’s heart had been replaced by a car battery a la “Crank” and he actually died because he stopped having sex.
Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation
What if Mike overheard all the news coverage on David Carradine, and he could no longer control his curiosity? Maybe somebody mistook his safety word as a bark of pleasure and things got out of hand.

Pure, Unadulterated Terror

Don’t you think that maybe if, just at the moment Mike was reaching sea lion climax, somebody leapt out from behind a rock dressed as a great white shark, he might have actually died of fright? Great whites are the fiercest of the sea lion’s natural predators, after all.
Driven to Suicide by Internet Bullying
This theory was first floated in our comments section. Mike’s lifestyle certainly invited criticism, and it’s happened before.

Ponzi Victim

Isn’t it possible, since news travels more slowly among animals than humans, that Mike just found out he lost all of his money to Bernie Madoff, and he killed himself out of grief? He can’t hurt you any more, little fella.

What other ridiculous scenarios could have been the cause of Mikey’s demise?