February 12, 2009 3:23:43 pm
Theres something kinky going on in the world of seed beetles. According to a new study,the female insects seek out intimate moments not to increase their chances of becoming fertilized,but for hydration.
“We were curious about the behavior of these femalesmales are known to inflict damage during mating,and yet the females keep going back for more,” the National Geographic quoted study lead author Claudia Ursprung of the University of Toronto Mississauga.
“We wanted to find out whether females were getting food or drinks from the ejaculated fluid,” said Ursprung,whose research appears in a recent issue of the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.
To reach the conclusion,the research team kept 79 female seed beetles in enclosures for eight days. Some were given food and water,some just food,and some just water.
In the absence of water but not food,females were much more likely to try breeding. Being given water,however,left the females with little appetite for sex.
The beetles probably evolved this bizarre tactic because the species lives in a dry environment,the researchers suspect.
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