Kick off your weekend learning about the diverse mating rituals of different species across Earth – both past & present. Click on the source (i.e., National Geographic) for the full article.
A new spider species in Australia uses paddles to attract mates
“In a bizarre ritual, an amorous male hides on the underside of a leaf and thrusts the paddle high enough for a female on the other side of the leaf to see it. The researchers know of no other jumping spider that conducts such a peekaboo courtship—nor of one that has built-in paddles on its legs, according to a study published January 7 in the journal Peckhamia.” – National Geographic 1/15/2016
Where dinosaur head ornaments used for sexual selection?
“Another paper in 2012 notes that it may have been the case that, for many dinosaur species, both males and females had prominent features, and both sexes preferred mates with the most elaborate structures.” – IFLS 1/14/2016
Clash of the Titans & Other Animal Mating Rituals
“One of the most fearsome of such battles occurs every spring among bull elephant seals. The Sumo wrestlers of the animal world, male elephant seals are quivering masses of blubber weighing up to 6,600 pounds. When they go at each other, a pair of bulls rear up, roar loud enough to make the earth shake, and collide with a thunderous crash. The whites of their bulbous eyes showing, they gnash at each other’s fleshy necks with blunt teeth that leave grievous-looking wounds and nearby beach water stained crimson with blood. It’s a dangerous game, but the payoff is enormous.” – PBS 12/1/2001
Albatross Romance & Mating Ritual
What Do Dinosaurs Find Irresistable? Sexual Dimorphism in Dinosaurs
“Non-avian dinosaurs were weird. That’s one of the reasons we love them so much. There’s nothing quite like a slender-necked Barosaurus, a beautifully-crested Dilophosaurus or lavishly-ornamented Pentaceratops alive today. If such dinosaurs were anything, they were bizarre, but why were they so strange? Each case demands its own explanation, and paleontologists have continuously tussled over whether particular ornaments were weapons, sexual displays or something else.” – Smithsonian 9/7/2012