Thoughtful Thursdays: Will You Be Our Valentine?
Published February 14, 2013
This Valentine's Day, we've rounded up a list of the Aquarium's most "romantic" animals! From seabirds that co-parent to seahorses that hold tails, learn how these marine animals show love:
Ah, the French. (Known for their romantic flair both above and under water!)
French angelfish form a monogamous bond that lasts as long as both fish are alive. They live, travel and hunt in their pair. If a mature french angelfish is seen alone, it's usually because their mate has passed away, they never look for a new one.
Clownfish also mate for life. The male and his mate will live together (in the anemone or reef crevice of their choice) and aggressively guard their eggs until they hatch.
Seahorses have a very intimate courtship, they hold tails, swim snout-to-snout and engage in a courtship dance. Once the male seahorse is pregnant (yes, the male carries the eggs to term), the female visits him every morning and holds his tail. They also mate for life.
Barramundi perform a love dance during mating. Every year, the barramundi return to their birthplace to spawn (they also only mate during a full moon). Many Australian myths claim these fish have special aphrodisiac qualities. It's because of that belief that they're colloquially known as "passion fish."
To attract a female, the male scarlet ibis performs a complex array of mating rituals (including a shaking dance and head rubbing). After a successful courtship, the female will lay eggs and the pair will both watch over the eggs and co-parent their young. Scarlet ibises mate for life!
Puffins also form long-term pair bonds. The female lays a single egg and both parents incubate it and feed the "puffling" once it hatches. Puffins will often return to the same nesting site every year.
Happy Valentine's Day! How are you celebrating today? Tell us in the comments!