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Top 10 Most Hilarious and Romantic Courtship Rituals in the Animal Kingdom

Ostrich wearing lipstick

Nature is full of surprises, and when it comes to mating rituals, some animals take it to a whole new level. From elaborate dances to strange vocalizations, some creatures have developed unique, romantic, and hilarious ways to attract a mate. 

Here are the top 10 animals with the most comical mating rituals:

The Blue-Footed Booby

blue footed booby

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Found in the Galapagos Islands, the Blue-Footed Booby is famous for its bright blue feet. During mating season, males perform a comical dance to show off their feet to females. The dance involves lifting their blue feet and whistling to attract their potential mate. The brighter the blue, the more attractive the male is to the female.

The African Penguin


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The African Penguin has a unique way of proposing to its mate. The male will search for the perfect pebble and bring it to the female as a gift. If the female accepts the pebble, the two penguins will mate and build a nest together. The male will continue to bring pebbles to the female throughout the nesting period as a sign of affection.

The Greater Sage-Grouse

greater sage

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Male Greater Sage-Grouse perform an elaborate dance during mating season to attract females. The dance involves puffing out their chests, fanning their tail feathers, and making a series of strange noises that sound like a mix between a popping balloon and a burp. The dance is so impressive that females will often gather around to watch and choose the best dancer to mate with.

The Red-Capped Manakin

red capped manakin

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The Red-Capped Manakin is a small bird found in Central and South America. During mating season, male manakins perform a dance that involves a series of acrobatic flips and spins. The dance is so impressive that it’s been compared to a mini Cirque du Soleil performance.

The Walrus


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Walruses are known for their unique and comical vocalizations during mating season. The males often make a series of grunts, roars, and bellows to attract females. The sounds are so loud that they can be heard underwater for miles.

The Hooded Seal

hooded seal

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During mating season, male Hooded Seals blow up a sizeable balloon-like sac on their noses to impress females. The sac is so big that it covers the entire head of the male and makes him look like a giant red balloon. The female will then choose the male with the largest and most impressive nasal sac to mate with.

The Japanese Puffer Fish

japanese puffer fish

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The Japanese Puffer Fish is famous for its elaborate and intricate sand designs during mating season. The male will spend days constructing a beautiful circular pattern in the sand to attract females. Once the design is complete, the male will swim around it and make strange noises to attract a mate. 

The Satin Bowerbird

Satin bowerbird

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The Satin Bowerbird is another bird known for its elaborate courtship rituals. The male will build a bower made of sticks and decorate it with blue objects like flowers, berries, and even bits of plastic or glass. The male will then perform a dance around the bower, showing off its collection of blue objects to the female. The female will inspect the bower and choose the male with the most impressive collection to mate with.

The Australian Redback Spider

australian redback spider

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The male Australian Redback Spider has a unique and risky mating ritual. During courtship, the male will offer himself as a meal to the female. If she accepts, the male will continue to mate with her while being consumed alive. This strange behavior is believed to be a way for the male to prove his worthiness as a mate.

The Adelie Penguin

adelie penguin

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Adelie Penguins have a comical way of showing affection to their mates. During courtship, the male will present a pebble to the female, just like the African Penguin. However, instead of a single pebble, the male will often bring an entire pile of pebbles and present them to the female, who will then choose the best one.

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This originally appeared on Planet Natural.

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Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa's work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.