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Are we dating like animals?

By Staff | Mar 30, 2011

“Animals Showing Off” is an amazing National Geographic pop-up book that fell into my lap — or rather, I found it in the backseat of my car.

I was taking some books to the local bookshop but when I saw blue-footed boobies on the front cover, a light bulb literally lit up right above my head. Eureka! I’ve gotta do some animal mating research.

Humans are in the animal category, classified as Homo Sapiens, to be exact. In Latin it translates to “wise man” or “knowing man”. But when it comes to dating, sometimes the wise or knowing parts of us get tossed out the window and make us act pretty reckless. Seducing a mate is one of the most powerful forces in the world, and it may even make us act like animals.

A quote from Olivia Judson’s book, “Dr Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation” says: “The more her desires clash with his, the more diabolical the outcome.”

Take for example, the female praying mantis. Oftentimes, the males gets eaten before he even has a chance to mate. He has to make his moves slowly, carefully, with precision sneaky sneakery, or he risks the chance of having his head eaten off.

I’m sure a guy or two has felt this way when their lover was livid. The more aggressive females become, like a viscous female garden spider, the more males try to escape. From a survival standpoint, the male who gets away has the upper hand, and his head intact.

In other species, the males become possessive of their female mate and with good reason. The male stick insect hangs onto his lover for 10 weeks. This will ensure no other males have a chance of winning over his beautiful bark-like beloved. In most species, the female will partner up with more males than necessary to fertilize their magical baby-making eggs. From chimpanzees to rabbits, the females rarely remain faithful to one partner. This translates into human courtship, too.

A queen bee may have up to 25,000 males competing for her sweet bee booty. But once copulation happens, bam! He is more than likely to explode, with his baby making parts blocking the way for other queen bee suitors.

Other species use less destructive protection, ensuring their genes are spread. Such as a glue-like chastity belt used by snakes, mice, bats and butterflies.

Stag beetles put up a physical fight for a female mate like a WWF wrestling match. And there’s no lack of excitement around the pond during bullfrog mating season. Large male bullfrogs hold the little guys under water for a few minutes when competing for a mate. So the smaller bullfrogs end up hanging out on the sides like pond flowers.

Some animals use more suave ways to attract a mate. Cardinals have similar courting rituals to humans. They “mate feed”. A deep red-colored male (a show-off trait) picks up a seed, touches its beak to the female before she takes the seed. This is the start of the courting ritual through the incubation period. They remain monogamous until the the breeding season comes to an end. Put some lips where there were beaks, a steak dinner by candlelight, and maybe a feather or two, and it sounds like human dating to me.

Male cockatoos show off their plumes, while female fireflies put on a light show. Humans display their best when looking for a mate. And unless humans evolve into hermaphrodites like transparent roundworms or mangrove fish, there will be a variety of methods to swoon, woo, court, and seduce the opposite sex.

So be your best self, show off your amazing qualities, get out there and have fun dating!

Dina Z. Colada is a dating expert. Please send any dating questions or comments to dinazcolada@gmail.com‘>dinazcolada@gmail.com, and sign up for her email list at dinazcolada.com for free dating tips.