10 Amazing Ways Animals Woo a Mate
Love can be tough, and there are plenty of examples in nature to prove it. Capuchin monkeys throw stones to get a date; some male marsupials kill themselves with too much rigorous sex; praying mantises routinely risk losing their heads. In honor of this Valentine’s Day holiday, here are 10 animals’ tricks for attracting that special someone.
1. Show Your Heart
Male frigate birds use giant throat sacs resembling heart-shaped balloons to attract their mates. They inflate the sacs while waggling their heads, shaking their wings, and calling to a female. Only the male with the biggest display will get the girl.
Similar to frigates, hooded seals blow up the crimson ‘hood’ on their nose and wobble it around to display their “manliness” to the females and to scare away rivals. But their red balloons seem to lack the same heart.
2. Dance to Impress
Who doesn’t love a man who can dance? Female manakins surely do, and their boys know it. These confidently, colored Casanovas turn branches into dance floors where they “moonwalk” to catch the eye of a lady. They also make loud buzzes and snapping sounds to make themselves further stand out. Alpha males have the home court advantage, and they usually win the love match.
Check out this little guy’s Michael Jackson moves:
3. Add a Dash of Danger
Having trouble getting a date? Well, if all else fails, you can try a scare tactic. That is the way of the male water strider. Female water striders don’t always accept advances easily. In fact, they like to keep things modest with a genital shield that acts like a chastity belt. As a result, the males often hurry things along by tapping their legs against the water surface. The tapping lures predatory fish, so the quicker she gives in, the less likely she will be eaten—especially since the male mounts her while she floats on the surface, making her the one most at risk of becoming fish food.
4. Be Ready to Fight