You may think that animals are all on their own when it comes to weird customs, tactics, and ways to find and keep mates, or just to find them and use them. But believe it or not, humans and animals both have similar tactics for “dating”. In this article we will explore tactics that both wild animals and humans use regularly as part of the dating/mating game. We will also give you some examples from the animal kingdom when it comes to some of these weird behaviors.
Signaling & Selection
Signaling is using certain traits or behaviors to manipulate others. Signaling is seen all over the animal world in calls like that of the penguin, large moose antlers, and scents. Some of these signals (like words) are free, while others (like a great body) may take some work to get and may be considered costly to acquire. An example is peacock feathers on the male. Selection is that concept that some people will have more offspring than others because they are desirable to the opposite sex. Runaway selection can be seen in the animal kingdom when traits become more pronounced in later generations because they are desirable.
Differentiation is exhibited when a potential mate tries to set themselves apart from the crowd with something extraordinary. An example in the wild is that of the bird called the manikin, which performs an elaborate and unique dance to attract a mate. Large, bright peacock tails, as well as large antlers in animals like moose and elks are other examples of this. Large appendages unlike other males in the particular group make them more desirable to females who may be willing to mate with them. Mating contests are also an example of this, somewhat.
Sexual dimorphism can be seen in any animal (or human) that greatly stresses the difference between sexes in order to gain the attention of the opposite sex. This can manifest itself in the size, shape, behavior, and even decoration of the body. Lions are one example of this. Both sexes have their duties, which they perform in the same way each day, and the sexes of these animals are simple to determine just by looking at them. Males have manes, females do not. The same can be said of moose. Males have large antlers, while females do not.