During sex, female praying mantises have a tendency to kill their partners with a decapitating cutting blow that would make a samurai proud. But as this shocking new video shows, just because a male doesn’t have a head doesn’t mean he still can’t get it on.
Female praying mantises have a habit of killing and eating their partners during sex, which sucks for the male. Or does it? A fascinating new study shows this sacrifice is actually giving the males a distinct reproductive advantage.
We call those deadly spiders with the red hourglass shapes on their abdomens "black widows" because they eat their mates as part of the sex act. But black widows are far from the only spiders who sexually cannibalize, and some insects and fish do it too. It's just a natural part of some animals' reproductive process.…
The black widow spider practices sexual cannibalism, in which the female eats the male after mating - indeed, that's why they're called black widows in the first place. But males have an unexpected way of avoiding that fate.
Several kinds of female animals, including spiders, are known to devour their male counterparts, often right after they finish having sex. But every so often, the female isn't deadlier than the male, as South America's wolf spider will tell you.
Although sexual cannibalism is discouraged among humans, if not outright illegal, it's not uncommon in the spider world, as well as among mantises. Female spiders are known to eat male spiders both before and after mating, though researchers point out in a new paper published in American Naturalist that it's not…