SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Pat Benatar famously sang “Love is a Battlefield,” but it couldn’t be clearer than for certain species in the Animal Kingdom. Whether they’re hungry or it’s a strategy to select the best mate, a handful of species see their lives come to an end shortly after breeding.
Sexual cannibalism has fascinated biologists for years, with no clear answer as to why some males are sacrificed and others are not. To find out more about how widespread the ultimate sacrifice to mate is, we turned to Larry Serpa, an ecologist with the Nature Conservancy.
“It’s more common among spiders than among other fierce predators, but it probably slips through the mind of every predator. Vegetarian species probably wouldn’t even think about it,” Serpa said.