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Do Animals Flirt ?


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check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7QZnwKqopo  orhttp://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/weirdest-bowerbird or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQrLPW5DdY

Essentially, males must prove their worthiness to the females in order to procreate. Females just need to be willing.

That raises an interesting question. Why are the males not equally presumed to have criteria for choosing the females?

 

Surely it is better for the success of their genes if they pick a healthy, strong or whatever female, isn't it?   

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That raises an interesting question. Why are the males not equally presumed to have criteria for choosing the females?

 

Surely it is better for the success of their genes if they pick a healthy, strong or whatever female, isn't it?   

Obviously, the females carry much more of the physiological burden and risks of producing offspring.  Producing sperm is not a great burden by comparison, so it can be deposited more widely at less cost.

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That raises an interesting question. Why are the males not equally presumed to have criteria for choosing the females?

 

Surely it is better for the success of their genes if they pick a healthy, strong or whatever female, isn't it?   

 

One thing they don't want to do (generally) is to pick a female which is already pregnant. That would be a waste of sperm. Females are generally totally uninterested in males in this state, so it's not an issue, but with humans there is a conflict of interests for a female because she needs to keep her partner from sowing his seed elsewhere. Presumably, the "hourglass" waist of a woman is a sexual attraction because it is a signal that she is not pregnant, and pregnant women are (generally) exceedingly unsexy. This can make life difficult because (generally) women are very sensitive about whether they are sexy or not, so a noble lie is required to reassure a woman with hormone imbalance she is very sexy even when she looks like a beached whale. *sigh*

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One thing they don't want to do (generally) is to pick a female which is already pregnant. That would be a waste of sperm. Females are generally totally uninterested in males in this state, so it's not an issue, but with humans there is a conflict of interests for a female because she needs to keep her partner from sowing his seed elsewhere. Presumably, the "hourglass" waist of a woman is a sexual attraction because it is a signal that she is not pregnant, and pregnant women are (generally) exceedingly unsexy. This can make life difficult because (generally) women are very sensitive about whether they are sexy or not, so a noble lie is required to reassure a woman with hormone imbalance she is very sexy even when she looks like a beached whale. *sigh*

 

Could you please relate this to the animal kingdom .....

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Could you please relate this to the animal kingdom .....

 

I thought that homo sapiens belonged to the animal kingdom - my mistake. As for other species, I have seen lots of flirting in sheep and lizards (but not between sheep and lizards). With sheep, the presence of a ram will stimulate a ewe to start ovulating, and a ram can be seen flirting with a ewe in order for this to happen. The ewe will reject any attempts at mating until she has ovulated, but can be seen not to reject the ram entirely, but tease him until he gets quite frustrated.

 

A similar kind of ritual can be seen in our local lizards (gallotia galloti) where the male will try and mate and the female will reject him for a while. If he gets fed up and wanders off, she will often follow him and flirt with him, clearly for the same reasons that a ewe does this. (The behaviour of ewes has been well studied, that of gallotia galloti, not.) The manner in which the lizards mate clearly requires a more than passive role for the female, so I guess the timing must be right. The flirting serves the purpose of achieving this correct timing.

 

Relating this the humans, if I am allowed, I venture that flirting has its roots in this procedure. It would be a darnn sight easier all round, and save a lot of energy,  if females had evolved with something like a flashing red light on their heads announcing the right timing.

Edited by DrKrettin
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