Spring Connection – Nature’s Mating Behaviors

Spring. Why is it our bodies are programmed to think about pro-creation in the Sping of the year? Face it, we can’t help it. We are biologically programmed to think about nothing else (well, almost nothing else.)

Odd things happen in the natural world as animals prepare to mate. Their bodies change to attract mates, and their lives become tuned into the need to assure the overall survival of their kind.

Here are some interesting examples of mating behavior and coloration from birds, insects and even a spider!  Ahh, Spring.

YogaMoves When its characteristic yellow feet take on a reddish orange hue, the snowy egret is ready for breeding. Its ceremonious mating behavior or “stretch” display involves the male gyrating his body up and down while pointing his bill skyward.

PersistentPest The female horn fly feeds on the blood of its cow host day and night and leaves the cow’s body only when the animal defecates; she must lay her eggs in the fresh manuere when it remains at body temperature.

RecluseRocker  The petite male ruby-crowned kinglet rarely flashes its red Mohawk; instead it relies on its loud, bubbly song to deter other birds from its nesting territory, almost 100 feet high in the spruce fir forest.

FungusLovers  April is mating season for winged pairs of Texas leafcutting ants. After mating, the male dies and the female, who bears a bit of fungus from the parrent colony, loses her wings and becomes the queen of a new colony.

PreciousPurse  Spring persuades the female Mexican red-knee tarantula to fertilize eggs with sperm she has stored in her body for months since mating. She carries the fertilized eggs in a silk sac between her fangs for weeks until her offspring emerge.

Thanks to Chris Hardman’s Ecological Calendar for today’s information. www.ecocalender.info  .

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