This is why you should always buy dinner for your date

Carl Zimmer is one kinky dude—he has a new article on sexual cannibalism in the NY Times, and his expansion on the topic in his blog is also darned interesting, focusing on the scientific duels fought over adaptationism and exaptations in explaining the phenomenon.


  1. jim says

    I wouldn’t want to be the spider who leaves his equipment behind. That seems a little single use to me.

  2. Molly, NYC says

    Apparently, mantids’ reproductive scheme is based on an old joke:

    Q. How would you describe the perfect lover?

    A. A man who’s tender, romantic, sexy, handsome, clever, funny, in great shape, capable, attentive, can go as long as you need, enthusiastic, imaginative, and just when you think it couldn’t get any better, he turns into a pizza.

  3. says

    One interesting thing I learned recently, on a related topic, is that slugs sometimes get their male bits stuck during the mating process. The solution? Bite it off!

    Lucky for them, they’re hermaphrodites and can go on to have children by other slugs who still have outies to go with their innies.

  4. says

    Joshua, that’s only with banana slugs…
    Though, with some sea slugs, like the horned sea slug pictured in the article, sometimes the connection misses, and one of them turns around to eat up what was spilled, as a proteinaceous consolation prize.

  5. says

    Dear Sir,

    I am glad to hear that your commentators disapprove of the last post as strongly as I. As a journalist I abhor the implication that the New York Times is a haven for sexual cannibalism. It is well known that we now have the problem relatively under control, and that it is the Washington Post who now suffer the largest casualties in this area. And what do you think the embeds ate in Basra. Arabs?

    Yours etc.

    Captain B.J. Smethwick in a white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms and garlic.

  6. Dawn O'Day says

    As someone who is a vegetarian AND who has dated a lot of loser guys over the past year, this article leaves me conflicted.

    PS PZ – I knew you’d come up with a kicker headline!


  7. SpringHJ says

    “article on sexual cannibalism in the NY Times”

    I’ve always been interested in sexual cannibalism in the animal kingdom- but in the NYT! Wow. Leave it to the liberal media…

  8. sara says

    Lesson: do not date Ann Coulter.

    Praying mantis with long blonde wig, habitually bites people’s heads off, obviously hungry.

  9. hexatron says

    I found the article unbalanced. Getting eaten is a danger of mantis sex, but it is probably rare in nature.

    The male mantis who lives in my blackberry bushes had a female visitor yesterday. I didn’t see any sex acts, just some jumping and fumbling. Later in the afternoon, he was alone and sunning himself as usual.

    The sunning may be his way of advertising his availability. As a nymph he generally stayed out of sight on the underside of the leaves.

  10. Mike says

    Kinky? Carl Zimmer is one scary dude. I’m sure I’d find it fascinating, but I just can’t work up the nerve to read Parasite Rex. Just entirely too creepy. I can see someone pulls a gun on Carl. He says “Have you heard about Sacculina? Well, let me tell you what it does. …” [ FX: guy sreaming and running away unevenly because he has his fingers in his ears ].