Lifestyle & Belief

12 animal mating rituals that prove love is about good dance moves

Jazz great Louis Armstrong once sang about animals that like to “do it.” The surprisingly detailed list included:

Birds, bees, educated fleas, romantic sponges, oysters, clams, lazy jellyfish, electric eels, shad, English soles, goldfish, dragonflies, sentimental centipedes, mosquitoes, katydids, ladybugs, moths in your rugs, locusts, chimpanzees, courageous kangaroos, giraffes, heavy hippopotami, sloths, sweet guinea pigs, bears, Pekineses, and monkeys.

Louis was talking, of course, about falling in love.

We’ve compiled some the best male (and female) mating rituals and courtship displays in the Animal Kingdom. Study their dance moves and practice at home. 



1. Flamingos parade en masse while displaying their necks and swiveling their beaks.

Pure Balanchine magic. The highlight is at 0:40.


2. Greater sage-grouses strut competitively and pop their yellow neck sacs — really loudly.

Judging by that chest hardware, it's spring break in Grouseville.


3. Hooded seals blow red air sacs from their nostrils. And they are heart-shaped.

Say it with nose balloons.



4. Blue-footed boobies hop from side to side to show off their spectacular blue feet. (Skip to 0:18.)

They'd really appreciate it if you stopped smirking.


5. Japanese cranes leap, bow and flap their wings in a hauntingly beautiful courtship dance.

Don't even look at them with your inferior human eyes.


6. Seahorses swim side by side for days — either holding tails or anchoring to plants and ferris-wheeling in unison (2:03).

Seahorse romance? Waaaay more middle school than you expected.



7. Birds-of-paradise tidy their homes and perform utterly insane dances to show off their plumage.

Nature should just go ahead and retire its own jersey.


8. Peacock spiders shake it like samba dancers at Carnival.

When the legs are at 10 and 2 o’clock, it’s time to party.


9. Puffer fish create geometric sand patterns on the ocean floor. They move the sand by flapping their little fins.

You had me at "puffer fish crop circle."


10. Manakin birds? Oh, just a little something called MOONWALKING.

But seriously, moonwalking.


11. Ostriches create an erotic trance by crouching, flapping and rotating their heads.

(Call me.)


12. And the showiest display of them all? This skating routine by Russian gold medalist Evgeni Plushenko.

Red jacket + black stretch pants + gold bikini + bronze muscle suit = alpha male.