14 Feb 2011


Yes, it's February the 14th and we all know what that means - it's VALENTINE'S DAY, the day when many feel obliged to say I love you with overpriced cards and  flowers, fattening chocolates, and stuffed toys bearing the words 'horny devil' or such like. And that's only for her. For him, there are the obligatory novelty socks or boxer shorts with heart or lipstick coated lip shaped designs.

But what about the rest of the animal kingdom? What tricks do they employ to attract a mate?

A new exhibition at London's Natural History Museum reveals the lengths animals will go to in order to attract a partner and it seems that some of them are not above giving presents.

Male amazonian river dolphins present bouquets of water weed to females as part of their courtship  whilst male dance flies present females with gifts of chocolates prey wrapped in silk.

And the way to a female adelie penguin's heart is gifts of pebbles which she then uses to build a nest to lay eggs in - not so romantic then, it's almost like Husband dearest giving me an ironing-board cover or something just as practical.

And talking of Hd, what about couples who have been together a long time? Look no further than the Great crested grebe who exchange gifts of food throughout their life-long relationships - and not just on February the 14th.

It's not just about the giving of flowers and food though - music is another means for putting us in the mood and it's not just reserved for us homo sapiens. It seems that the male haddock serenades females by humming to them whilst the club winged manakin rubs together specially adapted feathers which vibrate making a sound not unlike a violin.

What? You don't want a bouquet of weeds OR a pebble AND you don't like the sound of violins? How about perfume?

Smell is among the most powerful senses. Female emperor moths release chemicals which the male can detect from several miles away (not good when this is aftershave) with their furry antennae, homing in on the source by detecting from which direction it is strongest whilst male porcupines spray their love interest with urine (urgh, yuk) in a bid to attract them and get them in the mood for love.

Going back to music, I put romantic songs in a search engine and the singer BARRY WHITE came up several times so I give you ...........



Vivienne said...

I am happy with the bunch of water weeds! Great post for Valentines day.

Misha said...

Very interesting post Tracy! Thanks for sharing!

GMR said...

Happy Valentine's Day Tracy! ^_^(Great post as usual too!)

MOLLYC said...

Happy Valentine's Day! The accordion man gave me a kiss. Does this count? I would rather have jewels. Love to you, however. You are my first blogging friend, and I cherish your continuing support and great sense of humor. Barry White. Really! molly

Dorte H said...

And happy Valentine´s to you. Look here: http://suburbannoir.com/manic-monday-i-love-to-read-winners/

- congratulations!

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

Another excellent review, Tracy.
The one about the amazonian river dolphins...how amazing!

Happy Vl'S Day! May your day be filled with love.
May your day be sweet like you!

Big hugs!
B xx

NRIGirl said...

I would take the pebbles over anything else in the list please... :)

Happy Valentines Tracy!

Suko said...

LOVEly post, Petty!

My darling, I. . . .

Great song!

Kelly said...

Fascinating post!!

Not a holiday we celebrate extensively, I did make an impulse buy and gave my husband a heart shaped box of mini Reese's Peanut Butter cups (one of his faves) along with a card.

Congrats on your win today! Yay!

Oh...and I'll admit I've always enjoyed Barry White.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...


I would just like an honest sentiment. At anytime, not just on one day. :)

A said...

Great post on Valentine !!!

But missing Monday dose...do you have another post today

Alexia561 said...

Yikes! I'd hate to be a female porcupine!

Happy Valetines Day to you and hD!

chitra said...

Happy Valentine's day, loved reading how they express love in the animal kingdom

Sanand said...

That was quite interesting, didn't know that the animal kingdom celebrates it too. Good going!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Happy Valentine's day, a little late!!

naida said...

Interesting post!! I like it!
Hope you had a Happy Valentines Day :)

Anonymous said...

I don't want water weeds, but I like the thought. XD