batrachian

Those who have read Darwin’s ‘Descent of Man’ know what immense importance in the amelioration of the breed in birds this author ascribes to the mere fact of sexual selection. The sexual act is not performed until every condition of circumstance and sentiment is fulfilled, until time, place, and partner all are fit. But in frogs and toads this passion devolves on the lower centres. They show consequently a machine-like obedience to the present incitement of sense, and an almost total exclusion of the power of choice. Copulation occurs per.fas aut nefas, occasionally between males, often with dead females, in puddles exposed on the highway, and the male may be cut in two without letting go his hold. Every spring an immense sacrifice of batrachian life takes place from these causes alone. 

—William James.