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April 19, 2014 4:22 PM   Subscribe

New research suggests that it's the male black widow spider who chooses the female in order to avoid being post-coitally eaten, rather than the female who chooses the male. (article abstract)
posted by anothermug (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
That would make for an awkward first date conversation.
posted by arcticseal at 4:34 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


It had never occurred to me that Bob McDonald looks like Peter Capaldi, but there you go.
posted by bicyclefish at 4:34 PM on April 19


Or a fun first date conversation! I'll bring the pizza, you bring your insect collection.
posted by sneebler at 4:45 PM on April 19


An unfertilized female who is not hungry is less likely to cannibalize her mate.

This has been my experience, but I haven't been on okcupid for long
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:45 PM on April 19 [33 favorites]


It doesn't really matter. He can't mate again, so he may as well provide a bit of nourishment to the mother of his children.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:31 PM on April 19


If my experience is anything to go by, which it may very well not be . . .

The spider don't know!
posted by metagnathous at 6:47 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


It doesn't really matter. He can't mate again, so he may as well provide a bit of nourishment to the mother of his children.

Do you think he feels the same way? I mean, I get what you're saying, but that's certainly not how I would feel in that situation.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:22 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


so, how does this work in people? does the male choose the female, or vice versa? i like to think i have a measure of control, but what if it's just a cruel fantasy?

spider sexfilter: i saw a paper a few years back about the australian redback, who somersaults onto the female's fangs after swiving her. sometimes she eats him, sometimes she doesn't, and the researchers found that in the instances where he was eaten, he was much more likely to pass on his dna to the babies.

at some point in the future, i may be willing to be eaten as the price of one more sexual interlude. man-eaters of mefi should have a flag on their profiles, maybe a spider graphic.
posted by bruce at 7:58 PM on April 19


Would explain the twerking efforts of the male black widow. Selective twerking.
posted by rockyrelay at 5:32 AM on April 20


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