Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Mating Habits of Sedanus Protonus

(Traffic accidents in Malaysia were so commonplace that it seemed at times there must be some other reason than just bad driving. I began to fantasize that the cars had another reason to hit each other.)

This report covers several weeks of extensive study of the mating habits of Sedanus Protnus, commonly known as “Slow Assed Proton”, Malaysia’s only domestically produced automobile. The author spent many hours encased in a blind built to resemble the object of study and followed their movements during both the morning and evening mating periods. These periods included observation durations of about 1 hour each session and were focused on the primary and secondary mating routes between Johor Bahru and Pasir Gudang in southern Malaysia’s State of Johor. Another popular mating route is the causeway between Malaysia and Singapore, but this route often includes mating rituals of the Nervous Singaporean Weekender and is not included in this report.

Protonus is unique in that it can only mate when it is in motion. But it is ironic that the act of mating causes the mating pair to come to an abrupt and complete stop. During the morning and evening mating periods, the urge to procreate is so strong that they will often form long lines hoping for the opportunity to make contact with another like minded Proton. Mating itself is consummated with a loud “BANG” followed by a sound similar to the tinkling of broken glass. Obviously overcome with the passion of the moment, there is then silence while the two lucky individuals catch their breath. This silence is then quickly followed by a stream of squawks and oath-like sounds from each partner. While not observed, there have been reports (Robinson, et. al., personal communication) that one participant will sometimes jump about in post coital glee brandishing a parang (Malaysian machete) and attempt to cut the exoskeleton of its partner.

More interesting is the foreplay associated with mating. A Proton on the rut is often seen moving quickly and swerving between potential mates. It is believed that this behavior is used to seek out a partner whose scent glands indicate they are in heat and ready to mate. Once a potential mate is located, the male quickly brings his beak as close to the posterior of his intended mate as he can. This action is accompanied by a mating call which is a series of long bleats. An uninterested female will swerve to the side when hearing the mating call. A female who is ready to mate will signal her readiness by slowing down and allowing the male to make contact. While it is rare to actually catch a pair in the act of mating, signs of mating activity are common along the mating routes and you can often see one or more of the mating pairs standing by the road side.

As stated before, the Proton must be moving in order to mate. Sometimes the swarm of mate seeking Protons is so great that there is no possibility of movement. At those times, you can hear the frustration as the long stationary lines of Protons sing their mating call in unison. This practice has given rise to the term, “getting horny”.

1 comment:

KAREN said...

Your blog is certainly entertaining. I have translated one of your entries to Spanish in my own. If you are interested the translation can be found at: http://reflexiones4-karen.blogspot.com/2008/02/interesting-blog-un-blog-interesante.html