Corpse Bride: Lizard Necrophilia Reported in Brazil
"I felt a sense of wonder," says zoologist who observed male tegus mating with a dead female.
When zoologist Ivan Sazima went for a walk in the park in southeastern Brazil on a warm September day in 2013, he was hoping to find noteworthy animal behavior to study.
But he did not expect to witness lizard necrophilia. Right in front of him, he saw a male reptile trying to court and mate with a dead female of the same species, Salvator merianae, commonly known as the black-and-white tegu.
"I felt a sense of wonder, because I did not observe this behavior in lizards before, only in frogs," said Sazima, of the Zoology Museum of the University of Campinas in São Paulo.
Necrophilia occurs in other lizard species, but it's the first documented instance in black-and-white