There are many grim ways for all creatures great and small to meet their maker. Not least being turned into a zombie, before being fed - still partially alive - to baby wasps, like this poor cockroach.
However, scientists have discovered a new kind of marsupial that spends it's last fews days in a marginally more pleasant way. The Black Tailed Antechinus marsupial literally fucks itself to death. Nice.
In the kinds of scenes not seen since George Best found the back door entrance into The Buxom Booby Bonanza Club in Stoke Newington in 1974, the Antechinus spends the last two weeks of it short life overcome with a testosterone fuelled urge to get nasty (pron. 'Nay-stee') with as many lady Antechinus' as it possibly can. Hash tag lad.
The high altitude areas of South Brisbane, Australia, where the Black Tailed Antechinus is found, start to resemble Sunny Beach in Bulgaria when the fury little blighters get a military-grade horn on towards the end of their lives.
Given that the average life cycle of a Black Tailed Antechinus is only 12 months, this means they spend almost four percent of their lives shagging so hard they disintegrate. In human terms, that's the equivalent of spending 2.928 years constantly horny, and shagging everything you can see. Pretty much the same durations as a full University degree. Coincidence?
" They don't even eat or sleep, just concentrate on the mass mating ritual that wears their tiny bodies out"
Scientists were aware of a large decrease in the male population of Black Tailed Antechinus, but until now had assumed that this was down to the males taking part in a noble act of suicide, leaving more of the ever decreasing supplies of food for their mates and offspring.
In fact, scientists have worked out that this mass shag-a-thon is all in the name of genetic dominance. Every male Black Tailed Antechinus attempts to impregnate as many females as possible, essentially playing a numbers game with DNA.
However, they're so focused on their goal, they don't even take the time to eat or sleep, instead embarking on a mass mating attempt so extreme, they wear their tiny bodies out in the process and die.