Spring is the season of romance, but finding love can be hard! Perhaps you don’t know how to get your crush to notice you, or maybe you can’t figure out how to express your feelings to that special someone. If so, you may not want to take some inspiration from the animal kingdom. Here are just a few unconventional ways of attracting love!
Though we know very little about dinosaur mating rituals, some scientists think they may have found evidence of past romantic activity. In Colorado, paleontologists have found massive scrape marks that look very much like a dino-sized version of the scratches many species of birds leave in the ground during dances designed to impress potential mates. Often, birds who build their nests on the ground will show off to their partners by kicking and scratching at the dirt. Scientists think dinosaurs, who also built nests in the ground, may have done just the same!
To catch the eye of females in the darkness, male fireflies will fly around and flash their light in a pattern unique to their species. Female fireflies of that species hiding in the vegetation will flash their own
specific pattern to let the males know where they are. This sparkly conversation helps partners of the same species find each other. But males beware, there can be danger lurking in the shadows! Unlike most other fireflies, females of the Photuris group are insectivores: they eat other insects. These hungry ladies also have a unique skill: they can imitate the many different light signals of other firefly species. By flashing these other patterns, a Photuris female can lure in a male of a different species, letting him think she’s a firefly of his own kind. When the unsuspecting male flies down expecting a hot date, he instead becomes her tasty dinner!
When it’s time for underwater love in the bluegill fish school, things get competitive. Female bluegills will lay eggs, and male bluegills will use many different tricks to be the first to fertilize those eggs. Some males are big and strong and build nests for the females to lay their eggs in, then defend those nests against other males. Sneaker males are small and hide behind plants near the nests, then dart in to quickly fertilize the eggs before the bigger male notices. Lastly, some males are “satellites.” These males are the same size and colour as female bluegill fish and will hover around the nests. The big males will leave them be, and maybe even allow them into the nest because they look just like another lady. But when the true female lays her eggs, the satellite males will fertilize them first before speeding away!
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