5 Animals That Mate Themselves to Death
There's a reason that spiders, eels, and some mammals practice suicidal reproduction.
Finding a mate can be exhausting—so much that some animals die after finally meeting that special someone.
For Weird Animal Question of the Week, we took a closer look at the reproductive strategy called semelparity, or suicidal reproduction, in which animals concentrate all their reproductive energies into one bout of mating before death.
The poster child for this phenomenon is the male antechinus, a tiny, short-lived Australian mammal. The critter goes on a mad mating spree (sometimes as long as 14 hours), after which it suffers a fatal immune system breakdown and dies a ragged wreck. (Read more about why some animals mate themselves to death.)
You could call it a parental sacrifice: Antechinus males die knowing they'd spread