Friday, February 13, 2015

8 Animal Species That Show Love and Appreciation

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  Love is blossoming and flirtation is in the air as couples pair up for the occasion. Of course, Little Critterz wants to celebrate and acknowledge how our fellow animals can also be chivalrous and romantic creatures.  Here is a list of 8 adorable love connections between animals within a species.  

Image Credit: Brian Whipple
Hey fellas, you know when you’re arm wrestling with that special girl and you let her pin you down even though you felt like you could have easily won? Well that was very cute of you, but it’s even cuter when puppies do it!  In a study done by the University of Michigan, it was observed that when playing with female puppies, male puppies will often let them win, even if they have a physical advantage.  Scientists studied puppy litters from four dog breeds: a shepherd mix, Labrador retriever, Doberman pincher and malamute.  The puppies were seen to lick the muzzles of their opponents, giving the female a chance to bite them in a vulnerable position.  Now that’s what Little Critterz calls a true gentleman!  

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Gentoo Penguins
Humans extend flowers or candy when wooing a lady, especially around Valentine’s Day.  Male penguins follow similar protocol when they’ve found that special female penguin and hope to make a companion.  Male gentoo penguins search through piles of pebbles to find the smoothest and most elegant rock to propose to his intended with.  Once the pebble is presented, if the female penguin decides to accept the proposal, she puts the stone in her nest, and the two become lifetime partners...well on their way to making baby penguins.  This courtship is so important to penguins, males often fight over pebbles in order to get the prettiest selection.  Maybe this Valentine’s Day, a pristine pebble will make the perfect gift for your partner! (But guys, better buy some backup roses, just in case.) Maybe this Valentine’s Day, a pristine pebble will make the perfect gift for your partner! Or perhaps another gift that’s a bit more personal and out of the box than chocolates and flowers.

Image Credit: Georgina Gomez
When finding a perfect mate, our friend the seahorse engages in a romantic tango with their true love.  Studies show that male and female seahorses will court for up to several days, during which they take part in an elegant dance. Talk about taking it slow!  They will be seen swimming side by side at the same pace in order to mirror the movement of the other, in sync.  Once paired up with their lifetime mate, seahorses will hold tails when swimming.  

Atlantic Puffins
Atlantic puffins also known as “clowns of the sea” due to their large, brightly colored beaks, are another avian species that choose monogamous, lifetime partners.  Their beautifully colored beaks become bright orange with a patch of blue bordered by yellow at the rear during breeding season.  These bright orange bill plates grow larger before breeding season and then shed afterward.  Once a male and female atlantic puffin pair up, the match is solidified in a sweet kissing like behavior called billing, wherein the pair rub their beaks together. This display will usually draw a crowd of puffins to share in the excitement.  


Great Horned Owl
The great horned owl is another animal that uses song to seek out a lifetime mate.  Males make a high-pitched hooting sound with their throats to attract the attention of female owls.  Females will hoot back to the sound they enjoy the most, to solidify the bond.  They then proceed to bow to each other with dropped wings, rub beaks in a kissing like motion, and clean each others’ beaks with their tongues.  Maybe you will be lucky enough to get a wet kiss like this one from your love this Valentine’s Day!

If the men out there really want to make their ladies happy this Valentines Day, why not serenade them with love songs like crickets do?  Sure, we all know that crickets chirp.  We have heard them singing away in the wee hours of the night.  But they have a calling song for attracting females and a unique chirp for when they have singled out a female that they want to mate with.  The male cricket makes these sounds by rubbing his wings together.  This is the most common song you will hear on a summer night (for attracting females).  The females hear the songs from their legs, which is where their ears are located, and they respond to the song they like the best.  If you like to serenade your woman, sing her a song while presenting a Little Critterz cricket and she surely won’t resist your love!

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Sea Otters
Sea otters may seem like independent creatures of the sea, but they actually are very friendly and sociable.  Sea otters often eat, rest, and sleep together while floating in groups called rafts. A raft may have a few sea otters, or hundreds!  Two otters of the same raft will hold hands while they sleep, so they won’t drift apart from each other.  This isn’t necessarily a mating ritual, but it does show the friendly and sweet manner otters express toward their male or female companions. Valentine’s Day is, after all, about showing love and appreciation to all the important people in your life.

Polar Bears
Polar Bears are known to be solitary creatures except for when the mating process begins during the spring.  In this mating ritual, the males take charge of courting the females by aggressively fighting with each other for the right to mate with a female.  Males tend to get one female in their mind to mate with and will fight all others that want to be with her. Males have been known to go more than 100 miles to mate with a female that they have picked up the scent of.  These fights between males are extremely aggressive and can last for hours.  They often result in torn skin, broken teeth, and plenty of scars for all involved.  When these tough guys find their lady bear, they aren’t messin’ around!
Now that you know 8 of our favorite love rituals between animals, hopefully you feel the love in the air and are inspired to do something special with your special someone.  Think about which courtship or romantic ritual fits your style? What would communicate your feelings best? Send your love with a Little Critter of one of these animals and tell your partner about the unique manner your animals shows its eternal love!

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