NATURE’S MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Humans aren’t the only creatures to shake their booty in an effort to woo potential mates. Here are some of the animal kingdom’s best dancers. Beyoncé, eat your heart out…
To entice sexy-looking females, the male wolf spider uses a strange kind of semaphore dance. He enthusiastically waves his feelers – or ‘palps’ –
in an elaborate fashion, rather like a 1990s raver pulling shapes at the Haçienda. This impressive dance routine requires so much energy that the spider’s heartbeat triples while he’s performing. If she likes what she sees, the female spider will tap her legs to encourage the eight-legged lothario. Then, if successful, the dance will finish with a mating session, in which the male spider uses his palps to pump sperm into his besotted lover.
The small manakin birds that live in the American tropics are well known for their spectacular courtship rituals. Some use their wing feathers to make buzzing and snapping noises; some fly around in circles; whilst others waggle their bottoms in the female’s face. But nothing compares to the sight of a manakin moonwalking backwards along a branch. That’s right... a bird doing a moonwalk. Backwards. If the female manakin isn’t impressed by that, then she clearly isn’t familiar with the works of Michael Jackson.
In one of nature’s most elegant courtship displays, White’s seahorses – unique to the Australian coast – carry out a sublime ballet worthy of Anna Pavlova herself. Before mating, the two lifelong partners entwine their tails, circling one another and mirroring each other’s movements. Once this intimate pas de deux is complete, the female deposits her eggs into the pouch of the male seahorse, who lovingly carries them until the tiny baby seahorses are ready to emerge fully-formed. Awwww.