AskReaders Fact List

AskReaders: Which animal did evolution screw the hardest?

Long time ago, we asked our regular contributors through e-mail, Which animal did evolution screw the hardest? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way and most of the respondents have requested to stay anonymous, so no names will be published.

1-5 Animal That Evolution Screwed the Hardest

Octopus

01. The octopus. It is an intelligent animal in which the male dies after mating.

Also, National Geographic had an article on a female octopus that lived for 4.5 years after laying eggs. Apparently, females of her species usually die after laying eggs, but the longer they stay alive, the better they can protect the eggs, allowing the octopus babies inside to get a better start when they finally hatch.

She was being observed very regularly, and even though the observers offered her food, she pushed it away or ignored it. Even when food happened to scuttle by, she ignored it. Researchers were sure it was the same octopus, because it had the same markings/scars each time they observed her. She possibly spent 4.5 years without eating. And when you look at the pics, you can see her getting grayer and grayer and her skin getting weirder and weirder from lack of nutrition.

02. Male bat bugs have sharp needle-like penises. They stab the ladies right in the stomach, even though they have perfectly good vaginas below (no, lower than you think). The sperm is injected directly into the bloodstream, which isn’t even where it needs to go. The horny little buggers even stab other males just for s*its and giggles. Both genders have evolved “false vaginas” in the middle of their abdomens to make this fun hobby less painful.

03. Banana slugs can grow to be 6-8 inches long, and their erect penises can be as long as the rest of their body. That’s right, the slug probably has a bigger di*k than you. Also, the penis emerges from his head.

Now banana slugs are hermaphrodites, i.e. each slug has both a male end and a female end. So when two of them fu*k its kind of like 69ing but with two sets of genitals on both ends. They fu*k for hours and to make sure they don’t miss a second, they hold on with their teeth, often tearing off chunks of flesh and leaving them mutilated.

When they’re done, sometimes they chew off each other’s penises. Sometimes they chew off their own penises. It’s not clear why and it isn’t the norm, but it happens enough that like 5% of banana slugs are penisless. Scientist posit that either the penis gets “stuck” or the slugs are trying to discourage future mating with other partners, to protect the seed they have planted. In a related species, the slug often chews off his own penis and offers it to his partner to eat as a little post-nuptial snack.

04. The ejaculation of a male honeybee is so explosive, it pops their little honeybee wang off (it can be heard by humans outside the hive).

05. The chicken. Imagine being a gigantic terrifying dinosaur, then millions and millions of years pass and you’re this small fat delicious bird. But I don’t know if evolution punished them by being delicious. There are 14 billion chickens in the world today. Maybe the best thing evolution did was to make them delicious to humans.

 

6-10 Animal That Evolution Screwed the Hardest

Luna Moths

06. Adult moths of the Saturniidae family (luna moths, etc.) have no mouths or digestive tracts and die of starvation. Their sole purpose after pupating is to reproduce and die.

07. Koalas. Okay, they’re cute. They’re also stupid. They have tiny little brains, one of the smallest brain-to-body ratios, that don’t recognize anything as food except for eucalyptus leaves on the branch. They can see you pull the leaf off the tree and try to feed it to them, and they don’t recognize it as food anymore so they won’t eat it.

They’re not adaptable. It would take only one environmental shakeup to leave them sitting there with nothing they realize they can eat. It’s an evolutionary dead end. Also, they all have chlamydia.

08. Spotted Hyenas. The females all have enlarged pseudo-penises, which are exactly what you’re imagining. They’re useful in the sense that it means it’s really really hard for the males to have sex with a female hyena who isn’t receptive to it. But there’re some drawbacks, also exactly where you’d imagine: Childbirth.

They give birth to live young who have to come through that long and not too stretchy pseudo-penis. It is not uncommon for the pseudo-penis to split during childbirth and for the mother to then bleed out. Also, this Nat Geo post claims that 60% of hyena cubs die during first-time births due to suffocation in the pseudo-penis.

09. The Dodo bird. It evolved on an island where there were no predators (of it anyway), so it lost the ability to fly; it wasn’t an advantage. Boom, along came sailors. Dodos are tasty. When a dodo gave a distress call, other dodos would run towards it to help. Sailors learned this and took advantage of this. Dodos don’t fly to evade humans. No more dodos.

10. Sloths. They live in trees but they need to climb down to take a sh*t, and this is when they get eaten by predators because they are super slow.

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  • Dodos weren’t just about being tasty… Europeans brought predators to the islands (which had none on the Dodo) in dogs and rats which ate their eggs. Also they thought they were dumb so they killed them. Apparently it took 80 years from discovery to extinction. I just watched a documentary on them 2-3 nights ago.

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