Wild romance

Be my Valentine!
Be my Valentine!

In the English language there are many expressions about love that refer to nature. Just think about the likes of ‘love nest’, ‘love on the rocks’, ‘love birds’, ‘puppy love’ and ‘love rat’.

Here at Animaltalk, we think we have figured out why that is. When it comes to love, nature does it best! Finding a mate in the animal world happens in many different ways – while some animals find their mates in very endearing ways, others are a bit more creative. Read on to find out about romance, courtship, one-night stands and more … this is how animals do it.

Smitten seahorses

These critters are known to court their chosen one for several days, and they put a lot of energy into this process. During the period of courtship they will engage in what appears to be a sort of ‘love dance’. They tend to swim side by side, mirroring each other’s movements; they swim snout to snout, hold tails and change colours to indicate that they are ready for romance. Male seahorses, in what some women may perceive to be the ultimate romantic gesture, are the ones who fall pregnant and carry the young. The female stays by his side until he gives birth, and she will visit him regularly, continuing to hold his tail and flirt with him.

Sexy snails

You might not consider your average garden snail extremely interesting, but when it comes to courtship, he is actually pretty close to Cupid himself. Snails are hermaphrodites, meaning that they have both male and female reproductive organs. However, the snail still requires a partner to be able to lay eggs. So when two snails want to get together, they will slowly (because that’s the only way they move) circle each other, while attempting to ‘shoot’ each other with love darts. These mucus-covered darts prepare the female reproductive organs to hold more sperm.

The art of love

The Japanese pufferfish might not be the best-looking animal around, but he easily finds a mate by using his creative prowess. This fish has a truly unique talent. Using the ocean floor as his palette, he creates unbelievable pieces of art to lure females. He arranges the sand with mathematical precision to design elaborate, elegant patterns, and even decorates the edges of his creations with shells. Once he manages to impress a female with his art, the couple’s eggs will be laid in the sand construction. The male will remain with the eggs until they hatch, but the female’s devotion doesn’t last much longer than the male’s artwork. When it starts to fade away she will leave him, and disappear into the vast ocean.

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