Why Are These South American Lizards Into Necrophilia?

These lizards like having sex with dead lizards, and scientists don't really know why.

Photo: Ivan Sazima/National Geographic.

The National Geographic reported this story in February, but it only came to our attention this morning. And when we say that it came to our “attention”, what we actually mean is that it shocked us so much that it caused us to spit our hot porridge out all over our computer screens (not a euphemism, you sick bastards).

It was zoologist Ivan Sazima, the absolute #lad, who caught the lizard (who cannot be named for legal reasons) getting his freaky-freak on with the dead lizard in 2013.

The lizards, if you must know, were Salvator merianae. They’re more commonly known as black-and-white tegus. Not a lot of people know this, but the black-and-white tegus were actually the inspiration for Michael Jackson’s pop classic…Billie Jean. “The corpse was bloated, smellier than a septic tank, and had begun to rot” Anyhow, back to the story. The story of the breathing lizard having sex with another lizard, another lizard that definitely was not breathing. Apparently, necrophilia is fairly common among cold-blooded animals but this case broke the mould because it was the first documented instance of it happening within this particular species (one of the most common lizard species in South America).

Sazima, who definitely isn’t a Peeping Tom, has been quoted as saying he “…felt a sense of wonder” as he watched the male going bow-chicka-wow-wow on the female lizard corpse. No, not in a sordid way. Come on, be fair, he’s probably a stand-up guy.

The scientist went back the next day, not because he enjoyed it so much the first time you understand but because he’s a scientist; a proper scientist. The corpse was bloated, smellier than a septic tank, and had begun to rot. Amazingly, this did nothing to discourage a different tegu from coming along and “having a go”. “…he watched the male going bow-chicka-wow-wow on the female lizard corpse” If you thought this was a quickie though, a cheeky bit of “how’s your father”, think again. The new male lizard had sex with the dead female for nearly an hour, presumably with the music of Barry White playing in the background and some nice candles dotted around.

After exhausting himself through strenuous sexual activity, the male lizard is said to have rested on her for a bit before flicking his tongue at the corpse and strolling off into the sunset. A kiss goodbye, if you will, and that was that.

In all seriousness, we don’t condone this sort of thing at Mpora. The lizards in question definitely need to talk to someone about their sexual exploits, not Russell Brand but like a proper therapist or something.

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