Video: Sex, Lies, and Antelope

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Credit: Jakob Bro-Jørgensen

When they want more sex, male topis have an interesting way of getting it: they cry wolf. The African antelope keeps his lady from leaving by pretending a predator lurks beyond his territory, using a universal topi signal that involves running ahead, snorting, and staring in the danger's direction. The ploy fools the female into staying, giving the male more chances to mate. Each male will use the tactic up to a dozen times before his female's caution—and interest—wanes. The topi's false alarm, reported online this week in The American Naturalist, represents the first known example of non-human animals using sexual deception to get their way.

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