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More Promiscuity in the Animal Kingdom

Olivia Judson is a research fellow at University College of London and author of Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice To All Creation. Though she's hard-pressed to come up with a species that truly mates for life, Judson admits that promiscuity is an awkward term. "It implies a lack of discrimination," she says. Often, promiscuity depends on how many other 'offers' an insect gets.

Some of Judson's favorite promiscuous females:

The Harlequin Beetle-riding Pseudoscorpion

This arthropod rides on the wings of the harlequin beetle, and is a discerning female suitor. Lady pseudoscorpions will have sex with virtually any male that comes along, says Judson. However, they actively avoid mating with males with whom they have already had sex.

The Dunnock (Hedge Sparrow)

Once held up by biologists as a model of Victorian chastity, this sparrow is now one of the most common examples of promiscuity in the animal world. Males often find themselves rearing chicks that are not their own, a consequence of the female's penchance for mating with multiple partners.

The Honey Bee

A queen bee has sex with as many as 100 males over the course of a few days-- whoever can catch her, says Judson. "When he does catch her, he explodes."

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