Most Screwed-Up Family Relationships in Nature
Relationships That Prove Mother Nature Is Kind of a Bitch
(I didn’t put the links or all the pictures cuz it would have taken forever and a day to convert it all. However, this is the uncut article as promised.)
Procreation is a beautiful thing. The elaborate mating rituals, the delicate act of intercourse and then, after the long wait, finally welcoming the fragile progeny into the world. The majesty of nature has no equal. Every creature is a miracle, no matter how slight. Every living being is a wonder, no matter how insignificant…with the exception of the evil bastards on this list. These are not your typical Disney feel good animals bursting with fuzzy, cuddliness. These are the cutthroat, backstabbing fiends that never get talked about. This is what happens when Mother Nature stops giving a shit.
7 – Pipefish Eugenics
Everyone knows that male seahorses and pipefish “give birth” – it’s one of those quirky factoids they try to hold your attention with in 4th grade science class. The mommy passes the eggs to the daddy who holds them in his belly until they grow up. It makes seahorses and pipefish sound like the most devoted fathers on earth. Nature has reversed the roles here so we can see what life would be like if men were mothers. Surely there’s nothing about this little experiment that could go wrong. Guys probably make great caregivers, what with all the maternal instincts woven into the very fiber of their being.
However, scientists who study these fish began noticing something rather odd. Sometimes babies would go missing. To solve this mystery they laced the mother with mildly radioactive amino acids. Unfortunately the experiment was a dismal failure because the mamma pipefish did not develop any super powers whatsoever. However she produced eggs and passed them to the male’s brood pouch where they were fertilized. Before long the researchers began to notice these radioactive amino acids showing up in the fathers liver and muscle tissue. Apparently Mr. Mom was absorbing fetuses on the sly. Snacking on them like embryonic popcorn. In fact, the brood pouch of the male pipefish is lined with blood vessels to help facilitate the consumption of innocent younglings.
Why do they feel the need to eat their own unborn brood? Partly it may be to help recover lost nutrients in times of need. But researchers also discovered that males would eat more of the embryos of small or unattractive females. They will sometimes abort/eat up to half of the younglings of a homely mate. By restricting the flow of nutrients to the brood pouch it forces the babies to fight for the scarce resources. Only the strong survive…and dad consumes the rest. Which only makes sense. If you’re going to have ugly kids why not just eat them before they hatch? Science speculates that pipefish do this because they simply don’t want to waste resources on offspring that aren’t genetically fit (ugly). So yes, they devour babies and they’re shallow.
“What kids? I don’t see no kids. I’ll call you.”
“The male shoelace in it’s natural habitat.”
“Even though it looks like it will be a Long, Drawn Out custody battle… it won’t”
“Don’t fret, they’ll always be with us. In one way or another.”
“I vote that we talk about my infanticide after we have angry fish sex.”
“Babies are like beers – the uglier the female, the more of them you need to consume.”
6 – Sagebrush Cricket Lovin
Love hurts. Partly it’s because opening up on such an intimate level leaves you exposed and defenseless. It’s easy to wound someone when you’re so close to them. Or maybe it hurts because your mate is eating your fleshy hind wings and drinking your blood. Such is the case with the Sagebrush Cricket. Apparently the females really don’t want any part in the whole procreation process. So to keep them occupied while the guy does his thing he offers up his wings as a snack. Proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that guys will do anything to get laid.
“Humans have a similar ritual. Its called Valentines day.”
She’ll gnaw at his wings, sometimes until they’re just nubs and then she laps up his life juices. This doesn’t kill or endanger the male, but it probably isn’t very comfortable. But as long as she’s happy, that’s what really matters. The female gets to satiate her man-hating cannibalistic nature and the guy gets to pass on his genes. The only problem is that this trick only works once or twice. Wings don’t grow back and being half eaten is a big turn off for the ladies. Once a guy has been eaten the females aren’t interested in him any more. No dinner, no date. It’s probably one of the only instances in nature where virgins get all the action.
“You cheating bastard! Whose bite marks are these?”
5 – Horse Infanticide
Horses have been the symbols of majestic grace and power since time immemorial. There is something about the regalness of their bearing, the nobility in their stance. The sleek coats, the elegant build, the large liquid eyes which seem completely devoid of the petty sins and hatreds that plague the world of man. The horse is truly a magnificent beast worthy of praise and admiration. Except for the females. They’re whores.
Mares that return to their home stables after getting knocked up on some other farm will immediately engage in promiscuous sex with all the local studs. There will be lots of freaky horse loving to go around. To be fair it’s probably for the best that she slut it up a bit. The sudden equine gangbang is actually a scheme to disguise the paternity of the baby. If all the males think they’re the father then they’ll be less likely to beat the foal to death…which they’ve been known to do. Because apparently horses in general are just assholes.
So mamma’s giving it up like a back ally hooker to protect her precious child. Is there any story more inspiring than a mother willing to sacrifice everything, even her dignity, for the safety of her child? But then of course, if she’s not allowed to screw every swinging dick in the pasture she’ll just go ahead and abort the pregnancy. It’s not worth the trouble. If she’s not certain that her foal’s chances of survival she’ll save herself all the time and energy of going through the pregnancy. Better to get rid of it now before you get attached to it anyway. Research done on zebras showed that if even a single new male was brought in to the heard the foal’s chances of survival fell to less than 5%. Who could have guessed that there was a dark, seedy side to the seemly carefree world of horses? A place full of abusive alpha males and ruthless, tough-as-nails moms. It’s ‘My Little Pony’ meets ‘Young and the Restless’.
“You know you’re the only one. Those others meant nothing to me.”
“I call next.”
4-Tasmanian Devil’s are just like Carebears (only evil)
We’ve worked tirelessly to warn the world about the evils of nature and in particular about a dark foreboding continent called ‘Australia’. So yes, we’ve covered the fauna of the land ‘down under’ pretty well including that furry little sarlacc on legs, the Tasmanian Devil. Pound for pound they have the strongest mammalian bite in the world. They eat everything down to the bones and then they eat the bones…and then the cloths and shoes. They’re mean, gluttonous little cusses who will chew through metal if the mood strikes them.
But even Tasmanian Devils are capable of love and affection. Their mommy cares for them and loves them. She can have as many as 50 pups but she only has four lactation dispensaries (boobs). Amazingly enough they all take turns feeding! Perhaps we’ve misjudged these little scamps after all. If vicious bastards like Tasmanian devils can learn to share and cooperate then why can’t we?
And if you believe that line of bullshit then you’ve obviously never read an article at Cracked.com before. Devils don’t share for shit. The truth is that because there are only four milk spigots so only four pups will survive. As soon as they’re born there’s a race to see who gets one of mommies feeding nozzles. Whoever makes it their first and can hold on wins. The remaining 46 starve to death within hours. Nature goes through the trouble of creating 50 squirming newborns and then lets 98% of them die pretty much immediately for no reason other than to drive home the point that sharing is for losers. It’s official. Devils are the most vicious mammals on the face of the earth (take that Honey Badger!).
Video of some crazy dude with his devil:
3. Sea Lice Suicidal Maternity
You’re pregnant! Congratulations! You get to have 10 pounds of uncoordinated infant kicking around in your guts. You’ll be suffering for the better part of a year and you get to finish it off with several hours of mind numbing agony! Nine months of cramps, bloating, hormonal swings and then the melon headed kid bursts out to do nothing but cry and crap for another year. How’s that sound for a deal? Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu…these are all foreign words for ‘lets get a dog instead’. And yet the instinctual drive to procreate is strong. Despite all the pain and the hardship women keep having kids and men keep drinking themselves into a stupor. It’s the natural order.
But as difficult as human childbirth might seem, it doesn’t even begin to compare to the trials of the sea louse. Yes lice, the bane of elementary schools and the homeless can also be found in the sea.
“And you didn’t even know fish had hair.”
They’re parasites that feed on the blood and flesh of just about anything. So no, they’re not cuddly buggers by any stretch of the imagination. But every creature is born with some kind of instinctual respect for its progenitor, right? Everything shows an unconscious deference towards its maker. Mothers are sacred. The vessel that bore you deserves respect at the least if not outright reverence. And no doubt sea lice feel a deep sense of love and affection as they eat their way out of their mothers. Labor? Not quite. Mamma sea louse goes through more of an involuntary cesarean in reverse. It’s kind of like the movie ‘Alien’ only she’s got hundreds of babies chewing their way out. Lots of animals experience difficult pregnancies. But few of them are devoured from within by their own ravenous brood. So the next time your significant other starts dropping hints about babies, regale them with the tale of the poor sea louse and go out and get a nice toy dog instead.
2 – Fire Ants
If it’s one thing we’re an expert on it’s drunken slovenliness. If there were a second thing, it would be ants. While on the surface it may seem that ants are the epitome of unity and cooperation even they have their differences. The invasive fire ant, for instance, faces a serious conundrum. Women do all the work around the hive and the males are pretty much useless (a fact that many of our female readers would attest to). Ant males don’t hunt, they don’t take care of the young, they don’t dig and they don’t fight. All they do is eat, mate and poop (also a fact that many of our female readers would attest to). Therefore having too many dudes around is a waste of resources. And that’s why the worker drone ladies will pretty much kill a brotha on sight. Male fire ants are not even safe in their own home amongst their own kind. The workers embark on a systematic killing of all the males during the larval stage. But this presents a problem for the queen. To propagate the species she needs males to mate with other queens. Without the lazy, good for nothing sperm donors (or the ‘l.g.f.n.s.d.’ for short) the species would die out. How do the two sides work out a solution? What’s the middle ground? The queen overwhelms the colony with male eggs while the female workers slaughter as many as they can. A few boys make it through the culling, probably because the lady ants can only kill so many a day. Apparently mass fratricide is quite draining. The only reason dude ants survive is because the queen can out race her daughter’s ability to wreak carnage upon her siblings.
“And if there’s one thing we’ve learned about ants, it’s that this really pisses them off. And don’t inhale.”
1 – Sharks Nursery Massacre
Is anyone surprised that sharks are heartless eating machines that possess absolutely no maternal skills what so ever? Sure, they probably don’t deserve the stigma as crazed serial killers who will stop at nothing to devour every person who sets foot in the ocean. But that still doesn’t mean you should make kissy faces with one…like this guy:
Video of that dude who kissed a shark and got bit in the face: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9Fc-TvUdwk
Sharks will eat just about anything including their own young. The greatest gift a mother can give her kids is a head start. Sharks eat. It’s what they do. Scientists have gotten their fingers nipped running gynecological exams on lady sharks. As soon as they develop jaws they’re ready to eat.
Some sharks produce external egg sacks. Some sharks have live births with placentas, kind of like mammals. For the last group Mother Nature said fuck it, we’re going with a more economical stripped down model. Ovoviviparous sharks have live births, but they don’t have an organ to feed the developing fetuses. So guess where they get their nourishment from? Placentas? Sure, there are lots of placentas. But they’ve all got teeth and they fight back. Ovoviviparous sharks eat each other in the womb. These sharklets are attacking and killing shit before they’re even born, but not just because they’re vicious, soulless carnivores. The babies have to eat each other or they’ll starve. Nature went all psycho aquatic Highlander when she engineered the shark. There may be as many as 20 eggs starting out, but in the end there can be only one will. Maybe this helps to explain while Great Whites, Tigers and Macos are so ferocious. Maybe it’s not their fault that they’re monsters. Every moment of their lives is a brutal fight for survival. Try to remember that next time you’re sleepy little beach front community is being terrorized by a man- eating Great White.
An actual video of a baby shark in the womb eating other sharks.