Animal Attraction

April 1st, 2008

Thirteen blogger: Fred Kaufman, Executive Producer, Nature

A few years back, while producing our series Deep Jungle, I saw some extraordinary footage of a small, sparrow-sized bird doing a Michael Jackson moonwalk on a branch in the forests of Panama. The bird, called a manakin, was doing a little dance followed by a backward slide, and then a 360-degree spin. It was an eye-catching performance, but why such an elaborate show? The male was performing for a female. He was trying to impress her. He was looking for a mate. Cue video:

Boy trying to impress girl? Been there, done that–and not very well, by the way. Personality may get you a second date but looks get you the first or maybe being a good dancer. I don’t know any females who aren’t attracted to a guy who can dance. And guess what? It’s the same in the animal kingdom. If you’re a good-looking male and can build an impressive nest or sing a love song, or got some good moves,­ you, sir, are just what the females are looking for. Looking for love in all the wild places? Catch “What Females Want and Males Will Do” on Nature April 6 and 13.