Science

5 ways to find out about sex in the wild

Jan 12, 2015 /
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Biologist Carin Bondar (TED Talk: The birds and the bees are just the beginning) studies how animals get down and dirty. The details are often bizarre but fascinating. “We hit topics hard, and not just for the quirk factor, but because there is a lot of cool science behind so many strange mating rituals,” she says of stories she tells with humor and aplomb. Below, she recommends five ways you can find out more about a topic you likely never knew you wanted to know about.

All about the birds and bees. Literally

1. Sex Bytes
Carin Bondar
2014

“Sex Bytes is a web series that I created in order both to satisfy my unwavering curiosity for the world of bizarre animal sex, and to use these strange concepts as teaching tools for various subjects in biology and evolution. There’s no question that people are generally interested in sex. Therefore, sex (and all of the great before and after behavior) is a great way to introduce and discuss many different aspects of ecology.”

2. Green Porno
Sundance.TV

“I am a huge fan of Isabella Rossellini’s ‘Green Porno’ films. I love her silly yet educational approach, and continue to be inspired by her wonderful work.”

3. Wild Sex
Earth Touch
2012

“This web series takes a hard look at the weird and wonderful world of the evolutionary biology of sex. Based on the second half of my book, many of the stories are compared to human behaviors in a light-hearted way.”

Some lessons for humans tryin’ to get down

4. Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation
Olivia Judson
Holt Paperbacks, 2003

“This book was among the first that motivated me to become a science communicator. Her comical approach to all kinds of sexual ‘conundrums’ has always been a favorite of mine.”

5. The Nature of Human Nature
Carin Bondar
Lulu, 2010

“I’ve always been fascinated with trying to find the biology behind the quirky and odd behaviors of the human animal. From our obsession with unhealthy food to limiting our reproductive success, humans do a lot of things that we could assume are ‘unnatural.’ In this collection of short essays, I find many examples from the animal kingdom that might surprise you when it comes to determining whether or not human behaviors are adaptive.”

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Featured image via iStock.