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Mating like rabbits? A newly discovered species of Australian marsupial may have them beat when it comes to marathon mating sessions. The male Tasman Peninsula Dusky Antechinus, a small mousy carnivore that lives in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea, literally mates to death! In preparation of their marathon sex sessions, the male of the species trains by banking sperm and suppressing its immune systems so it has more energy. When mating season comes around, the testosterone-fueled males engage in an extreme form of speed-mating where they try to have sex with as many females as possible. They go at it for up to 14 hours before their bodies literally self-destruct!
Research by scientists from Queensland University of Technology found that the small marsupial gets a surge of testosterone before mating that suppresses the release of stress hormones. As the testosterone wears off, stress hormones begin to flood the body, the immune system of these overtaxed males begin to collapse, and the animal usually dies from hemorrhaging or infection before they can meet their offspring. Talking about going out with a bang! What's crazy is that a number of other animals engage in "semelparity", or suicidal reproduction, like salmon, and some frogs, lizards, and a number of insects. Semelparity not rare in nature, it is unusual to see this behavior in mammals.
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Fatal Attraction: Meet the Marsupials that Literally Sex Themselves to Death (Natureworldnews.com)
"Most animals will go to great lengths to find a mate and ensure their survival, but the fatal attraction between certain marsupials takes it too far, causing these species to literally sex themselves to death."