Functional Necrophilia in Frogs.

It isn’t every­day you get to read about frogs that engage in sexual dal­li­ances so viol­ent, the male has to remove the eggs to fer­til­ise them due to the unfor­tu­nate death of the female frog from excess­ive mount­ing by mul­tiple males.

From an evol­u­tion­ary per­spect­ive, this seems coun­ter­pro­duct­ive, but ana­lysis of the frog Rhinella pro­bosca­dia by Izzo et al. sug­gests that this may not always be the case. Males of this spe­cies were able to extract the eggs from females that expired as a res­ult of these intense com­pet­i­tions among males. Field obser­va­tions con­firmed that males could manip­u­late dead females to extract oocytes and that these oocytes could be fer­til­ized to pro­duce embryos.

From an edit­or­ial sum­mary in Sci­ence Magazine.

T.J. Izzoab, D.J. Rodrig­ues­abc, M. Men­inad, A.P. Limaa & W.E. Mag­nus­sona. Func­tional nec­ro­philia: a prof­it­able anuran repro­duct­ive strategy?  Journal of Nat­ural His­tory, Volume 46, Issue 47–48, 2012. DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2012.724720