Female numbats are ready to breed at one year of age.  In contrast, males only reach breeding age at around two.  As mating season approaches, a gland in the middle of the male’s chest secretes a strong-smelling substance that stains its fur bright red, making the animal look almost like it has a gaping chest wound.  This reddish oil is rubbed on rocks and legs to advertise the male’s presence to nearby females.


A small Japanese puffer fish is the creator of one of the most spectacular animal-made structures. To impress the female puffer fish, the male labors 24 hours a day for a week to create a pattern in the sand. If the female finds his work satisfactory, she allows him to fertilize her eggs. She then lays them in the middle of the circle, leaving the male to guard the eggs alone.

Life Story (2014)




There are about 400,000 greater sage grouse left in the West, nesting in the sagebrush from California to North Dakota. That’s a fraction of what their numbers were just a century ago, when homesteaders described them as blackening out the skies. Human development is the culprit. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has to decide whether or not the greater sage grouse needs protections under the Endangered Species Act. Some fear that the red tape and restrictions to development that would come with a “endangered” listing would turn small rural hubs into ghost towns. 

So the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish, a sportsmen’s group, a consulting firm, an oil and gas company, a conservation group and a local cattle association have all come together to try and protect the sage grouse. The shared hope is that if they put sufficient protections in place, the bird won’t be listed as endangered.

Dean Clause, Wyoming Game and Fish biologist 

They need very large, vast expanses of sage brush that are relatively quiet and undisturbed. In this day and age, with more people and more and more activity on the landscape, to try to minimize development and disturbance, it’s not always feasible.

Albert Sommers, Wyoming Rancher

In this industry we’re in, we’re multigenerational, we are sustainability. We can’t abuse the landscape we’re in.

Paul Ulrich, Jonah Energy (an oil and gas company)

A listing would be devastating to our operations … And the issue isn’t just oil and gas. It’s ranchers, recreationalists, conservation groups. The impact across the board is significant.

Tom Christiansen, Wyoming’s Sage Grouse Program Coordinator

This sage grouse conservation effort on a range-wide scale is the largest conservation effort ever undertaken for a single species, period.

Travis Bruner, Executive Director of Western Watersheds

You can sum up all of the plans to protect sage grouse that have occurred over the last year and a half as ‘planning to plan.’ 


The Performance of a Male Coastal Peacock Spider hoping to appeal to a Female mate.

Although other species of spider are known to perform mating rituals similar to this one, the legwork used as well as symmetry and colours of the clown faced abdomen is very unique.

A cannibalistic nature of the female; which is common in certain spider species, is also observed in this type. 

A female may witness the dance, but could already be carrying eggs or is uninterested. The perturbed female usually attacks the male; and although the male has superior jumping ability helping its escape, if it is not quick enough it is killed and devoured. 

It is also common that even if the female is interested, she can still devour the male after mating. 

(Via Peacockspiderman)

So an a/b/o world where children take the scent marker of their alpha parent or beta parent before they reach puberty and develop their own scent. If two alpha’s are mates, then the child will smell like one of the parents and so on.

Dean is an unmated alpha. He has a stable job in a publishing company and a house and his instinct are riding him hard for the 2.5 white picket fence happiness that comes with mating and settling down. But he ignores it, something in him resisting the idea of just going out there and looking for a mate, besides he’s too busy with work to worry about taking care of a family just now. So despite how he enjoys it less and less, Dean sticks to his old ways of picking up pretty women and men for the night, with every intention of never seeing them again.

One day Lydia shows up on his doorstep with a baby carrier in her arms, and inside of it is a sweet little girl who has every single one of Dean’s scent markers. He is instantly taken with baby Emma, everything about her screams that she is his kid and he doesn’t hesitate to rush both Lydia and the baby into his living room even though it’s been months since he’s scene the other alpha. She looks well enough, if a little cold towards him, and in the very same self-assured way that made him attracted to her that one night ten months ago, she basically tells him that she can’t keep their kid. Since they are not a mated pair, the fact that Emma smells like another alpha sets Lydia’s instinct on edge. Dean instantly understands although he can’t help but be a little shocked. Alphas that a prone to aggression when they feel like their territory is threatened are incredibly rare these days, and Lydia is so put together that he didn’t take her to be the type that would react this way.

She maintains that she wants to visit and keep in touch with him and Emma, but Dean thinks it is unlikely that she will visit. She had confessed to him that mating and children were never things that she wanted during their quick hook up. And in a conversation that took no more than an hour, Dean now has a baby girl to take care of and no mate to help him. He’s not overly concerned with the baby thing because he had practically raised Sam after the death of their mother, but he is unprepared, off-guard, and there is no way that he could take off work right now to provide the full time care an infant is sure to need.

The first person he tells is Sam, of course. While Sam protests that it was unfair of Lydia to just leave him with a child out of nowhere, he eventually gets back to Dean with a possible temporary solution to Dean’s problem. An omega whose parents kicked him out of their house when he refused to get mated to a match that they had picked for him, Castiel was a friend of Sam’s that had been couch surfing for weeks now while he tried to save up money for both a place to live and classes at the University that Sam went to.

He was perfect. A pre-health major who needed both a place to stay and job that would pay better than the bookstore he worked in, Castiel was more than open to meeting his friend’s older brother in desperate need of help. Even better, Castiel takes one look at the chubby newborn in Dean’s arms and Dean can see the moment the omega falls instantly in love with Emma.

Keep reading

Mama’s boys are not losers in spotted hyenas

Males that stay at home are not second-class males but can breed as successfully as their more adventurous competitors that leave home, a new long-term study on spotted hyenas shows. The results from a research team of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, Germany were published in the open access journal Science Advances.

E. Davidian, A. Courtiol, B. Wachter, H. Hofer, O. P. Ho ner. Why do some males choose to breed at home when most other males disperse? Science Advances, 2016; 2 (3): e1501236 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501236

Spotted hyenas live in female-dominated groups of up to 100 individuals and express highly complex social behaviour. Credit: © Eve Davidian/IZW