Sunday, July 17, 2011

Food *and* s-e-x in bugland


Spotted while out hiking today: A large female
stink bug going and getting food (in the form of
a centipede) even while a smaller male stink bug
was stuck to her behind doing you know what! :O

Advance apologies to those blog visitors of a sensitive disposition who may be appalled by the sight of bugs and talk about s-e-x but I feel obliged to document and discuss a sight I came across earlier today that I found pretty amazing. So here goes with this blog entry...

Many years ago, when I was an anthropology student at Beloit College, I was introduced to sociobiology and the food for sex theory by a wonderful biological anthropology professor named Karen Strier who taught me many lessons about life as well as anthropology. A Harvard University Ph.D. with a great academic pedigree, Karen was wonderfully connected and was able to attract a whole host of star names in the academic world to tiny Beloit to give guest lectures that were often fun as well as well as informative and educational.

Among the famous academics who came over at her invitation was Franz de Waal. A primatologist well known for his research on bonobos (AKA pygmy chimpanzees), he delivered a lecture one evening that proved memorable indeed -- not least because one of the slides he showed that evening depicted a male bonobo holding a bunch of bananas in one hand and his -- no lie! -- penis in the other. (More than incidentally, I also will never forget the comment de Waal made when showing us that particular slide: i.e., "Now, that's what I call a great illustration of the food for sex theory!" :b)

For those who are wondering: the food for sex theory postulates that males want sex and females want food and are willing to trade getting food for sex. But earlier today, I came across an example of an animal -- specifically, a female stink bug -- that clearly showed that her wanting food was so strong that she was willing to keep on searching for food while having sex!

More specifically, even while she had a male bug stuck to her behind, she (who is the larger of her species) continued to scurry after and then snare with her mouth a centipede. Frankly, I am in awe by her ability to do (those) two things at once -- and apparently pretty well! Put another way: she sure seemed like one female who's able to have her cake and eat it -- or be able to surmount what looked to be quite a considerable physical obstacle to get what she wants when she wants it!! :D

5 comments:

baroness radon said...

So that's what "buggered" means!

Andrew said...

Having read your post (with great interest) I'm off to buy a big bunch of bananas. If they get me into trouble I will blame you...

YTSL said...

Hi baroness radon --

Hahahahaha at your comment! :D

Hi Andrew --

Remember, those worked at attracting female *bonobos*. No guarantees about a big bunch of bananas working for female humans! :DDD

Andrew said...

Ah... Good point. What will work with female humans? Oh... diamonds probably... Sigh. It seemed a good plan while it lasted.

YTSL said...

Hi again Andrew --

Hmmm... actually I think food may work too with female humans... just not a bunch of bananas! ;b