Scientists in China have discovered male damselflies caught in the act of trying to court females inside a piece of 100-million-year old amber. It’s an extremely rare find, providing a glimpse of insectoid peacocking behavior during the age of dinosaurs.
The birds you see above are all ruffs (Philomachus pugnax): wading birds that summer in marshes through Northern Europe and Asia. All three are wearing different forms of breeding plumage. And all of them are male.
Catherine Scott is a graduate student working toward her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. She’s studying the courtship behavior of black widow spiders. That means that her experiments often involve waiting for spiders to have sex.
People who use dating app Tinder judge possible hookups just by looking at faces, making instant decisions based on attractiveness. But apparently those decisions aren’t based on some evolutionary instinct — they come from personal experiences.
When they’re courting, male Carola’s Parotia put on one hell of a show. Whenever this bird-of-paradise from New Guinea gets females to visit his painstakingly-prepared display court, he runs through six specific dance moves, each of which has to be performed well, and in the right order, to convince a female he’s a…
Menopause is one of the oddest features of human reproductive biology. Not the hot flashes or the forgetfulness, but the fact that older women lose the ability to have babies. Now researchers say that once it appeared, menopause may have had a ripple effect on human mating that helped create the human pair-bond.
In 2011, a remarkable and distinctly erotic 17th century portrait of Nell Gwyn was put up for sale by her descendants. It shows Gwyn, an actress who was one of Charles II’s mistresses for more than a decade, washing a string of sausages with her breasts exposed.
Stunning underwater video by Jose Lachat at Aeon shows you major milestones in the life of an Australian flamboyant cuttlefish: including birth, courtship, and egg-laying before death. If you want to skip right to the sexy part, the mating dance starts at 2:19.
He’s got a bright blue mask, flashy racing stripes, and dance moves he’s ready to use on some lucky lady. Say hello to Maratus personatus, a newly-named species of peacock spider from Western Australia.
You probably already know male black widow spiders are risking their lives when they go courting—but it’s actually worse than that. They face tough competition for the “honor” of mating. Once a virgin black widow female puts up a pheromone-laden mating web, males run in from all around to try their luck.
Male kangaroos and wallabies, like a lot of seemingly quiet grazing animals, get into knock-down drag-out fights over females. They obviously don’t have antlers or horns to spar with, but they’re perfectly willing to grapple rivals with their forelimbs and kick the crap out of each other with their big hind feet.
If you needed any more reasons to sign up for Firefly Watch, check out the stunning time lapse video of male firefly courtship displays filmed in the Great Smoky Mountains last year, now up at the New York Times as part of their Summer of Science.
This is amazing. During the breeding season, American alligators call for mates with a deep loud roar. It’s preceded by a pulse of infrasound that sets the water dancing.
The twinkly flashing lights of fireflies are a classic sign of summer, but the insects aren’t blinking for your aesthetic benefit. They’re courting in an absolutely cutthroat meet market, and some scientists are afraid that human activities could be making it harder for them to succeed. This summer, you can help…
These enormous antennae are for more than just show. The male glowworm beetle needs them if he’s going to track down a female. It’s not that lady glowworms are shy, they can’t go looking for males. They have no wings.
Sexual selection doesn’t necessarily just shape sexual anatomy – it can have as profound an effect on the rest of an animal’s body as natural selection does. In both cases, the end result is more babies for animals that look or act a particular way.
Let’s hear it for newly-discovered species with interesting sex lives! A pufferfish that builds complex circular spawning nests and a frog that gives birth directly to live tadpoles have been picked as two of the the International Institute for Species Exploration’s “top 10” new species of 2015.
Humans use all kinds of gimmicks to win over mates — but you’d think that in nature, it would be all about honest competition. The biggest antlers, the brightest feathers, the most beautiful song, the most perfect displays – each signals the owner’s desirability as a mate. But here are five animals (and one plant)…
To a female sand goby fish, this little guy could be everything she’s looking for. He has great dancing moves, good rhythm, and a fantastic burrow that looks like a fine place to leave some eggs. But before she commits to spawning, she’ll need to give his bachelor pad a sniff.
Most of the time, the male Superb Bird of Paradise is a fairly nondescript black bird. But when it tries to attract a mate, it flips its feathers around to create a fluorescent kabuki mask that you’ll never forget. In this video, ornithologist Ed Scholes explains how the bird creates the illusion.