early giraffe relative at the bottom and modern giraffes at top
“Necks for Sex” May Explain Giraffes’ Distinctive Anatomy 
An analysis of skull and vertebrae fossils suggests that an early relative of giraffes butted heads to compete for mates, which may reveal why modern giraffes are so throaty.
“Necks for Sex” May Explain Giraffes’ Distinctive Anatomy 
“Necks for Sex” May Explain Giraffes’ Distinctive Anatomy 

An analysis of skull and vertebrae fossils suggests that an early relative of giraffes butted heads to compete for mates, which may reveal why modern giraffes are so throaty.

An analysis of skull and vertebrae fossils suggests that an early relative of giraffes butted heads to compete for mates, which may reveal why modern giraffes are so throaty.

mating behavior
Infographic showing genetic and social monogamy in birds
Infographic: A New Look at Monogamy Across the Animal Kingdom
Catherine Offord | Jun 1, 2022
Advances in genetics in recent years has revealed that many apparently exclusive pairs in fact sometimes mate with individuals other than their partner, but social monogamy is widespread.
illustration of purple mitochondrion within a cell
Rogue Mitochondria Turn Hermaphroditic Snails Female: Study
Patience Asanga | May 19, 2022
The accidental finding marks the first time a phenomenon called cytoplasmic sterility, known to occur in plants, has been found in animals.
Readout of acoustic camera indicating individual male frogs and the frequency of their mating call
Science Snapshot: Identifying Individual Frogs In A Chorus
Lisa Winter | Apr 29, 2022
Using an acoustic camera, researchers were able to locate individual male wood frogs by their mating calls and determine which songs the females liked best.
Philoponella prominens spiders mating
Spiders Catapult Themselves to Avoid Becoming Their Mate’s Meal
Hannah Thomasy | Apr 25, 2022
During their escape, male spiders can reach speeds in excess of 3 kilometers per hour thanks to their springy front legs.
Reddish shelf fungi on a log
This Fungus Has More Than 17,000 Sexes
James M. Gaines | Apr 20, 2022
Advances in sequencing technologies have finally allowed researchers to zero in on the genetic diversity underlying the incredible mating system of shelf fungi.
Three baboons sitting on a tree, looking at the camera
To Mate or Not to Mate? Baboons’ Inbreeding Defense Is Biased
Saugat Bolakhe | Mar 25, 2022
Researchers find that wild baboons are generally good at avoiding inbreeding, but that it’s more likely to occur with paternal than maternal relatives.
Regina Vega-Trejo holding a net
Incest Isn’t Taboo in Nature: Study
Christie Wilcox | May 7, 2021
Avoiding inbreeding appears to be the exception rather than the norm for animals, according to a new meta-analysis of experimental studies.
deep-sea anglerfish Melanocetus johnsonii mating parasitic male immunology adaptive immune system cytotoxic t cell antibody
For Mates to Fuse Bodies, Some Anglerfish Have Lost Immune Genes
Katarina Zimmer | Jul 30, 2020
In most vertebrates, the absence of adaptive immunity would be catastrophic, but in some deep-sea angler fish species, it enables their “wild” and “wacky” mating habits.
Image of the Day: Stink Flirting
Amy Schleunes | Apr 17, 2020
Male lemurs secrete aldehydes from their wrist glands that may make them more attractive to females during the breeding season.
fruit fly drosophila melanogaster sperm sex peptide memory reproduction
Sex Promotes Lasting Memories in Female Flies
Ruth Williams | Nov 20, 2019
A protein present in the ejaculate of male fruit flies activates long-term memory formation in the brains of their female partners.
Monkey Hybrids Challenge Assumptions of What a Species Is
Jim Daley | May 3, 2018
A study finds two species of guenon monkeys in Tanzania have been mating and producing fertile offspring for generations.
Image of the Day: Bird-of-Paradise
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Apr 25, 2018
A unique courtship dance clued researchers in to the fact that they had a new species on their hands.
Bowhead Whales Impress Researchers With Their Song Diversity
Catherine Offord | Apr 4, 2018
A group of around 300 whales produced 184 distinct songs over just a few years, according to a new study.
Image of the Day: Rainbow Butt
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Jan 4, 2018
Scientists explore why male peacock spiders are so colorful. 
Insect Deploys Anti-Antiaphrodisiac
Shawna Williams | Oct 1, 2017
Female plant bugs produce a compound to counter males’ attempts to render the females unattractive to other mates.
Song of Ourselves
Bob Grant | Mar 1, 2017
“Nature’s melodies” may be a human construct that says more about us than about the musicality of other animals.
Tune Into the Animal Kingdom
The Scientist Staff | Feb 28, 2017
A survey of sounds from birds to whales to fruit flies to fish
Image of the Day: Flying in Love
The Scientist Staff | Feb 14, 2017
Bottle flies (Lucilia sericata) recognize potential mates by capturing the flashes of light that reflect off others' wings.
Hot Off the Presses
Bob Grant | Aug 1, 2016
Idiot Brain, Wild Sex, Why Diets Make Us Fat, and The Ethics of Invention