When humans attract a partner, we attempt all sorts of different, strange, and oftentimes outlandish rituals to try and win that person over. There’s not a “one size fits all” when it comes to courtship rituals with humans. But when it comes to animals, they’re pretty predictable. Animals have specific tactics they try to win their mate over, though their tactics differ from animal to animal. We know there are bird dances, mating calls, and other aggressive tactics that animals use. But there are other, stranger courtship rituals. We’ve curated a list of the most unusual rituals animals use to try and attract a mate and keep their species going forever.
Red-Cheeked Cordon-Bleu Songbirds Tap Dance
Ladies, get ready for the red-cheeked cordon-bleu songbird’s tap dance! This specific species of songbirds tap their feet in rapid succession, too fast for movements to be seen with the naked eye. Males and females bob their heads and sing to each other during courtship, in addition to tapping their toes. If there was a prospective mate they felt attracted to, they’d tap their feet even faster. To the naked eye, it just looks like the bird is hopping or bobbing. Masayo Soma, an ornithologist at Hokkaido University in Japan who studies these birds said, ”They show very quick steps and make sounds by such steps. They perform tap dance to impress potential mates…. what we know is that the number of steps decreases while they are singing, which can be interpreted as that they avoid interference between singing and step sounds, or that it is too physically demanding to sing and perform many-step dancing simultaneously.” They can perform up to six steps at a time (CS Monitor).