New Species Of Suicidally Sex-Crazed Marsupial May Be In Danger


Scientists in Australia have discovered a new species of an animal known for having sex to the point of suicide — but the creature may be in danger from more than just its own libido.

The antechinus is a small, mouse-like marsupial native to Australia and New Guinea.

A Monday news release from Queensland University of Technology announced that scientists have discovered a new species of the little critter, the Tasman Peninsula Dusky Antechinus. The release said the species, along with two other species of antechinus found previously, is threatened by climate change and loss of habitat and scientists are trying to get the animals placed on Australia’s federal threatened species list.

The antechinus is best known for the frenzied — and suicidal — sex habits of its males. For a period of two to three weeks, males mate with as many females as possible, sometimes having sex for 14 hours straight.

The newly discovered Tasman Peninsula Dusky Antechinus is threatened by loss of habitat. (Photo: Queensland University of Technology)

“They’ll bleed internally, they have ulcers, their fur falls off in patches, sometimes they’re stumbling around blind and still trying to mate,” mammalogist Dr. Andrew Baker told the Australian Broadcasting Company.

Baker explains in the news release how this manic lovemaking results in the animal’s death:

Ultimately, the testosterone triggers a malfunction in the stress hormone shut-off switch; the resulting rise in stress hormones causes the males’ immune systems to collapse and they all drop dead before the females give birth to a single baby.

This yearly male suicide mission, which halves each antechinus population, means the mums have enough spiders and insects to eat while they raise the next precious generation. But the future of each species is entrusted to the mothers alone.

The press release also notes that scientists recently “elevated” an —> Read More