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What humans can learn from the sex lives of insects

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Birds and the Bees.

Insects experience the world very differently from humans--but they still have a lot to teach us. Behavioral ecologist Marlene Zuk explores what insects can teach us about sex and sexuality.

About Marlene Zuk

Marlene Zuk is a evolutionary biologist that studies animal behavior, with a focus on insects. She is a professor of ecology, evolution and behavior at the University of Minnesota.

Zuk studies how humans make sense of animal behavior and the ways that animal behavior can impact our own.

She's the author of several books, including Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live, as well as Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can't Learn About Sex from Animals; Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That Make Us Who We Are and Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love and Language from the Insect World.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Fiona Geiran and edited by Katie Simon and Rachel Faulkner. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at

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Rachel Faulkner is a producer and editor for TED Radio Hour.
Fiona Geiran
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Katie Simon
Katie Simon is the Supervising Editor for Embedded, which showcases premier enterprise documentary storytelling for NPR and the NPR Network.