Antechinus sp.

A yellow-footed antechinus. © Patrickkavanagh/Flickr

Antechinus are small, mouse-like marsupials with attribute two-lobed ears. All 15 species of Australian Antechinus have, um, attention-grabbing reproductive methods.

Yearly, in the course of the breeding season, male Antechinus go on a suicidal intercourse frenzy. They search out and mate with as many females as potential with out stopping to eat, drink or sleep. After a three-week mating marathon, the females are pregnant and able to increase the following technology. In the meantime, the males are all dying of exhaustion.

Lack of sleep and meals, in addition to an overproduction of hormones – together with testosterone and the stress hormone cortisol – all contribute to males’ fast decline. They shortly go downhill: their immune system now not works, their fur falls out, they get open wounds on their our bodies they usually go blind. However they attempt to mate till the top.

The ensuing inhabitants crash leaves extra meals (bugs) for the females and ultimately their younger. And the new child males have a 12 months earlier than they too exit with a bang.