There's always that someone who's gonna have a bad time at an orgy. And male garter snakes are no exception.
Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis
, a subspecies of common garter snake, hibernate underground for eight months in communal dens. Each spring, they emerge en masse and engage in orgies—gathering in "mating balls" with all their wriggling bodies and horny desperation that can continue for days.
The "world's largest
" garter snake orgy so far? A whooping 75,000 participants in Manitoba, Canada! Wow!
Now, an international team of scientists found that male garter snakes may actually have some kind of masochism in them. Their study, recently published in the journal Royal Society journal Proceedings B, claims that mating can shorten their lives.
The stress of days-long sex can damage their health so greatly that the males age faster and die early. Talk about dedication.
Thing is, aside from the thousands of competition males has to outlaw to have that prized females (resembling one of Indiana Jones’ nightmares), males really prioritize sex over self-preservation- they go all out staying at the orgy site for up to 21 days without eating anything. While females tend to be more chilled and, the authors wrote, "prioritize self-maintenance." Besides, I don't think they use any safewords.
"The relationship between body condition and age differed strikingly between sexes, with females maintaining their body condition with age, while condition decreased with age in males," the study said.
"Although we believe that all females mate every year, they only stay at the den sites (where mating takes place) for a short period of one- to three days; much less than males, who remain for at least a week and up to 21 days, which seems to result in males ageing faster and dying earlier than females," lead author Dr Christopher R Friesen said in a statement