"Second, it is a mistake to pit post-modernism and social constructivism against evolutionary psychology as though they are in an intellectual death match that only one side can win. This tribalistic, us-versus-them thinking isn't helpful to science. Much like partitioning the causes of human behavior into nurture versus nature or culture versus biology or learned versus innate, social constructivism versus evolutionary psychology is a false dichotomy that may feel intuitively correct but should not be utilized very often by serious scientists (exceptions include behavioral genetics studies)."
Koryos, who previously explained how cats got domesticated using tumblr, now explains why homosexual pair-bonding can be a successful reproductive stratagem. Also, Coot Parenting Tips, Queen Cowbird Of The Brood Parasites , There's No Such Thing As An Alpha Wolf, and Can Animals Have Pets?
Evolutionary biologists at Northumbria University have used science to figure out "attractive human dance moves" that demonstrate optimum genotypic and phenotypic health to prospective mates. "Cutting-edge motion capture technology" was used to record good and bad dancing. (Technoviking was reportedly unpleased.)
"Video footage of the little artist at work recently surfaced. It was uploaded to YouTube by MarineStation Amami, a hotel and dive center that assisted Yoji Okata and NHK in producing the video segment that aired last year. Of note, watch at around 1:20 when the fish takes a small shell in his mouth and plants it in the sculpture. Scientists believe that the shells are filled with vital nutrients and this is the soon-to-be-father’s way of preparing nourishment for the babies." UPDATE [Aug 26, 2013] [more inside]
The sex lives of octopuses is often difficult to photograph in the wild, however Dr. Roy Caldwell got very fortunate with a pair in his lab. Here are some very rare pictures of the Abdopus aculeatus octopus mating, with a photo by photo explanation of what is happening.
Bowerbirds, a family of 20 species in eight genera, are a fascinating bunch of birds who range from New Guinea and Australia. Some are flashy, others drab, but all are named for the "bowers" (avenues, huts, or towers of sticks; source) that the males craft and decorate to attract a mate. There are regional styles (PDF) in the design of the bowers, and the male Greater Bowerbirds even employ optical illusions. Some, like the Vogelkop Bowerbird, add mimicry vocal to their repertoire of courting methods. Add accidental cultivation to the list of fascinating features of the bowerbirds. [more inside]
Two researchers have reviewed the body of research on the effects of birth control pills on both women and men’s perceptions of attractiveness, and have come to some provocative conclusions. “If you don’t take into account society maybe we’re all animals, but in social situations I don’t think there are many women who change who they would mate with at different times of the month. It might change desires or perceptions but, gee whiz, that’s a long stretch to changing who you would date, or even who you would go to dinner with”
Excellent footage of the stunningly beautiful yet bizarre courtship and mating behavior of the Peacock Spider.This is quite possibly the first footage of this quality that shows this behavior. Many jumping spiders have elaborate courtship dances. More Previously.
Need some new moves in your dating arsenal? You could get low and funky, like an ostrich. Or even funkier, like a horned pheasant. [more inside]
Women may not be so picky after all. Researchers at Northwestern University have been finding some interesting things about human mating by holding and studying speed-dating events (pdf). [more inside]
Photos of various insects mating.
Yet another reason to be spider-averse - traumatic insemination.
Our wonderful nature is a hilarious 5-minute animation about the mating rituals of the water shrew. The action starts at around 1:30. Other gems found at the bitfilm 08 Digital Film Festival include "The post-it note prison".
Some dolphins are easy and some are murderous rapists, but all of them are into the nookie. Amazon River Dolphins are the casanovas of the cetacean order, practised in selecting the finest mud glops or algae for that special cow.
The marine flatworm Pseudobiceros hancockanus engages in penis fencing [video]. SFW, I guess, unless your boss is a super uptight nudibranch or something.
A mating dance of the waved albatross on The Galapagos Islands. (60 sec. plus some other clips below)
Jumping spiders use their legs to communicate courtship interests to potential mates. The minuscule impacts of spider legs tapping against the ground surface are detected by nearby spiders. This "drumming" cadence signals the spider's reproductive interests. The female detects the low frequency vibrations through her legs. She responds by allowing the male to mount her. Absolutely amazing video here. The sound is the best part, so make sure it's on.
Manakins (Manacus sp.) are small, colorful sparrow-sized birds found all over Central and South America. Manakin males engage in elaborate courtship dances, including rhythmic sounds they produce with their wings. No one really knew how the birds made this sounds, until Kimberly Bostwick, Curator of Birds and Mammals at the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, went into the jungles of Ecuador to film the birds at 1000 frames per second. As it turns out, different species of manakin use entirely different motion to produce the sounds. The Journal of Experimental Biology has published the results, complete with videos. Mark Barres, who studies avian genetic population structures at the Univ. of Wisconsin, has also filmed the mating dance of the Manakins [.mov].
Periodical cicadas, the 13-year and 17-year varieties made up of 23 separate broods, sometimes emerge concurrently, as they did in Missouri in 1998. The result of their combined mating calls is a cacaphony. There are many different varieties of calls: those by Magicicada cassini, Magicicada septendecim and Magicicada septendecula are just a few. Brood XXIII is due this year. The prime numbers of the two cycles make it difficult for predators to evolve matching breeding cycles. More cicada links.