Happy Valentine’s Day from Spellbinder!

Since Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching, we thought we should share an excerpt from one of our favorite books in the store, Listomania: A World of Fascinating Facts in Graphic Detail (Harper Design, $25.99). On page 233, this fabulously funny and interesting book lists “15 Critters with Strange Mating Rituals.” Here are eight for you to enjoy:

PORCUPINE: Female porcupines are only in the mood for one day a year. To check if she’s interested, a male stands on his hind legs and, from 6 feet (2 m) away, urinates on her. If she’s into him, she shows her belly; lovemaking ensues.

WHITE-FRONTED PARROTS: One of the only creatures besides humans to kiss, these birds add their own flourish. After they cuddle, lock beaks, and flick their tongues together, the male vomits on the female to show his commitment.

GARTER SNAKE: A female may be courted by up to 100 males, who form a “mating ball” around her in hopes of getting it on. Only one lucky male gets close enough, but he then has to make a crucial choice: Which of his two penises does he use?

HEDGEHOG: The male hedgehog’s way of attracting a mate involves walking around and around the female hedgehog, sniffling and snorting. This can go on for hours until she decides she is ready to mate; often she just wanders off.

ELEPHANT: These massive beasts are actually pretty sweet to each other–nuzzling, twisting their trunks together, and even “french kissing” with their trunks. Oh, he also samples her urine to make sure she’s in heat before sealing the deal.

AUSTRALIAN REDBACK SPIDER: Females require the males to perform an elaborate dance for more than an hour. During the dance, the male aligns his stomach with her mouthparts. If he stops early, he’s eaten; if he finishes in a timely fashion, he is also eaten.

BLUE CRAB: Female blue crabs only mate during molting, when their shells are soft. Before and after mating, the male cradles and carries the female to protect her from predators, until her shell hardens and she’s safe again.

ANGLERFISH: The male anglerfish attaches himself to a (much larger) female permanently and lives his entire adult life as her sidekick, providing sperm when she requires.

If you like what read, there’s more fun facts to be found in Listomania: A World of Fascinating Facts in Graphic Detail, such as “9 Things that Were Lost in Space,” “8 Animals that Darwin Ate,” “12 Products that Radiation ‘Improved,'” “23 Famous Conspiracy Theories,” “15 Unlikely Intoxicants,” “28 Prehistoric Creatures Named for Famous People or Cool Things.”

Drop by the Spellbinder and pick up or order your own copy today!

And, Happy Valentine’s Day to all you crazy critters!

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