When male hippos set to wooing, they don’t go in for flowers or chocolate — they fling their feces at females. Mosquitoes, on the other hand, may be the animal world’s biggest romantics: Males and females adjust the acoustic frequency of their wings until they’re emitting exactly the same sound.
This Wired Science video compilation lets you see just how weirdly wonderful nature’s courtship rituals can be. You’ll see horseshoe crabs, which mate only when the moon is full. Elephants, which don’t mate for life but do court slowly and carefully, showering each other with gifts over the course of several weeks. And hermaphroditic flatworms, which hold “penis jousting” contests before settling on male and female roles. The routines may seem bizarre, but they’re often grounded in practicality (e.g., those hippos are merely demonstrating the vitality of their digestive systems). And really: Is Internet dating any less odd?
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