The Cannibalistic Mating Ritual of the Praying Mantis

For the praying mantis, sex becomes an act of cannibalism.

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To avoid sexual cannibalism, praying mantis males choose well-fed females
“Scientists gave male praying mantises a choice of whom to interact with: a likely well-fed female (prey in hand), a potentially hungry female (empty-handed), or a male holding food. And, as the title suggests, the males chose the females holding food, but first waited for them to finish their snacks.”

Having your partner for dinner? Mantis cannibalism boosts fertility
“Research finds species of female praying mantises who eat males after sex produce greater number of eggs than those who do not.”

The Evolution of Sexual Cannibalism
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Written by Carin Bondar and Animated by Joe Presser



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