Springtime Love, Part Deux: The Safari Continues

Spring is still blooming, and there are more animals ready for love. Spring is the season in which many creatures engage in their mating rituals, from young to old, big to small. From the bugs on our floors to the elephants in Africa, everyone wants a little bit of loving-making action. The sun is hot and so are the animal kingdom’s libidos – even those of bedbugs! Bedbugs, which are technically called Cimex lectularius, have a non-traditional wayof making baby bedbugs – the male actually has a spike on the front of his penis. The male uses his spike to pierce the female’s back, and after he has literally made his mark on his lady bug, he ejaculates into this hole. The sperm of the male bedbug swim around in the female’s body, traveling through the female’s blood, eventually reaching the ovaries. The fertilized eggs develop into embryos, which give rise to baby bedbugs.On the other spectrum of bugs, beetle mites do quite the opposite of bedbugs. The male beetle mite deposits his sperm on the ground, and actually has sexual intercourse with a female. If a female should pass by the sperm, she will pick up a fewof the male’s spermatophores, and place them in her reproductive organ. If a male and female do happen to come into contact, they do not even acknowledge each other. Talk about impersonal!Moving up in the animal kingdom, we come to one of my favorites, the beavers. When it comes time for the mating ritual, the female is the one to initiate sexual intercourse. After the female beaver has found a suitable mate, she has an interesting way of showing it – she secretes a yellowish, oily substance called castoreum, which comes from a gland that is located between her anus and genitals. After the initial show of love, the beavers glide face to face in the water during their love-making. As long as the male shows his lover the proper respect, beaver couples tend to remain together for the rest of their lives. Next, we come to the chimpanzee. Chimps are considered to be among the most highly sexed primates, partly because they engage in extensive foreplay. Chimpanzees indulge in masturbation and oral-genital play with others. Even young chimps join in – they mount their elders and give pelvic thrusts repeatedly. Female chimps have an insatiable sex drive: during their love-making season, they are known to have sex up to 20 times a day – talk about lucky ladies. Moving from foreplay to voyeurism, we come to the California sea lion. These creatures are actually stimulated by the sight of other sea lions having sex. Often, this is the only sexual stimulation for younger males, as the older males guard their ladies ferociously. The sea lion mating season lasts for two months, and the acts of mating takeplace close to shore, just below the surface of the water. Once the male and thefemale have done the deed, the male rushes back to shore to claim his next female lover.Lastly, we discuss the elephants. Even though elephants are some of the largest creatures to roam the earth, they are among the most gentle love makers. Both male and female elephants experience a period known as musth, during which they seek a mate. Musth is an emotional state that is brought on by the temporal gland, located under the skin between the ear on the eye of the elephant. The gland produces a dark, strong-smelling substance that stains the lower part of the elephants face – a signal to potential mates. Once a male and a female find each other, and are both in their period of musth, they will start to flirt with one another. This flirting can persist for up to a month until the pair actually copulates. The male mounts the female in the rear, and stands almost vertically in order to achieve full penetration. After making love, elephants entwine trunks and swish their tails. After some animal cuddling, we conclude our animal sex safari. Until next spring, don’t let the bed bugs bite, or…you know.