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September 24th, 2018

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Mating Strategies

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published July 18, 2017

Mating Strategies

The Apenheul primate park in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, is engaged in a four-year experiment, offering female orangutans an iPad loaded with photos of male orangutans now housed at zoos around the world, with the females able to express interest or disinterest (similar to swiping right or left on the human dating app Tinder). Researchers admit results have been mixed, that some males have to be returned home, and once, a female handed the iPad with a potential suitor showing, merely crushed the tablet. (Apps are not quite to the point of offering animals the ability to digitally smell each other.) [Daily Telegraph (London), 2-1-2017]

Peacocks are "well known" (so they say) to flash their erect, sometimes-6-foot-high rack of colorful tail feathers to attract mating opportunities. However, as researchers in Texas recently found, the display might not be important. Body cameras placed on peahens at eye level (to learn how they check out strutting males) revealed that the females gazed mostly at the lowest level of feathers (as if attracted only to certain colors rather than the awesomeness of the towering flourish). [Austin American-Statesman, 3-20-2017]

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