We’ve got a busy week ahead, but before we get there, here’s yesterday’s Sunday Times column. Hope you enjoy.
A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL – By Paige Nick
HOW TO BE AN ANIMAL IN THE BEDROOM
If you thought us humans were sexually depraved as a species you haven’t seen anything yet. You would be horrified to discover what the animal kingdom gets up to back at the ranch/burrow/jungle/savannah. They aren’t called animals for nothing.
Did you know that lions can mate over fifty times in a single day? They’re clearly the porn stars of the animal planet. I guess they don’t have to get up and go to work or do the grocery shopping, so their schedule just opened up. The only thing they really need to set time aside for is slaying the odd gazelle, intimidating the rest of the animal kingdom, and their role in The Lion King, after that they’re available for shagging. I suppose if they’re up to it, kudos (or I’m sure they would prefer kudus) to them. Imagine a human being after fifty shags in one day; it would not be pretty, just look at Ron Jeremy.
Snakes like to do a bit of the horizontal shuffle too, they’re nowhere near in the lion’s league, but still, they’ve been known to get it on for between six to twelve hours at a stretch. Somebody cue the Barry White music.
On the opposite end of that scale, the mating ritual of the Sloth takes all of about 5 seconds, and that includes the foreplay. One can only feel sympathy for poor Mrs Sloth. The speed with which the sloth mates is kind of ironic since this is an animal that moves at a lazy snail’s pace of only about two hundred metres a day. I feel Mother Nature has a bit of a sick sense of humour to orchestrate that the only thing it does quickly is the one thing that it might actually enjoy more if it did it slowly.
The Argonaut Octopus is also a little odd in the shagging department. While he’s off busy looking for food and checking out the ocean bed, his ‘ninth arm’ detaches itself and swims off looking for lady parts. Talk about having a mind of its own.
Ducks can also be pretty weird in the bedroom. Just look at Donald, who’s been walking around without pants on for decades. Some species of male duck can literally lob off and regrow their love truncheon. The lion may want to look into this as an option, so that when he hits shag number twenty five he can call in for reinforcements.
The male European Earwig, Forficula Auricularia to its friends, is also a bit of a dark horse. He too has a spare ‘joystick’ tucked away inside his abdomen, just in case the first one snaps off somehow (you know what they say, hell hath no fury like a Forficula Auricularia scorned). Should he find himself without his member, a new one instantly replaces it. And that’s not his only party trick, when standing to attention, his ‘little soldier’ is longer than his entire body (poor Mrs Arthropod Earwig) granted it’s body is only one centimeter long, but still.
But don’t feel too sorry for all the females of the species, the female Praying Mantis manages to get her own back on their behalf. She’s the feminist bunny boiler of the animal kingdom. She likes to kill and eat her mate head first after sex. I suppose she starts at the head so that she doesn’t have to hear him bleating about it as she goes. She’s pretty smart, at least she doesn’t have to share the duvet after sex.
Perhaps the male clam read about this carnivorous behaviour somewhere, because all clams are born male, but later on they can change into females if they want to. Bet the male Praying Mantis wishes he had that. But buyer beware, once the clam changes sex there’s no turning back.
Animals are astonishing, they really know how to make all their body parts useful, which sounds great until you’re a turtle and you realise that you breathe through your butt. Or you’re a butterfly and you taste with your feet, which is all good and well until you land on something nasty.
So no matter how bad things get you can count yourself lucky, things could always be worse, you could have been born a male Praying Mantis, or a female lion.