you put your right foot in, you put your right foot out

Several recent gimcrack posts have been about the strange mating habits of insects and animals. Today’s wacky sex ritual is brought to you by the Manakin bird.


Male manikins attract partners by a very specialised dance. Their  trademark movement is walking backwards along a twig while making it looks as if their feet are walking forwards. While doing this they flap their wings at 160 times per second, losing up to 10% of their body fat in the process.


But the female manikin would not be impressed by this performance if it was done solo. So a dominant male has to recruit an apprentice, teach him the exact same moves and put on the show as a pas de duex.

two men dancing

And here’s how the Twelve-Wired Bird of Paradise does it. “The Wire-Wipe Display is performed by the adult male to best present his flank plumes and his bare pigmented thighs to the female and to use his unique 12 flank plume ‘wires’ to brush across the female’s face and foreparts”

borrowed plume

Birds seem to have plenty of luck so perhaps the human male could learn some tips from them. the Amateur Scientist suggests adding a little colour to your life with a marker pen.

“Scientists from Arizona State University wanted to know if sexual attractiveness could increase a male animal’s testosterone levels. So they grabbed a few ugly, light-feathered barn swallows and scribbled on them with a black marker. The result? The newly darkened birds became sexual Adonises.

colouring in curly obama doll

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 7:49 am  Comments (32)  

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32 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Maybe the first bird has the right idea, I could just hire an apprentice to pick up women for me…

  2. Yeah, maybe that guy who just won the Eurovision song contest

  3. Wow, life sized Obama dolls? Last night I saw an ad on tv for Obama tennis shoes (trainers) and it came with a free Obama basketball. I thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t.

  4. You realise, nursemyra, that nobody under forty-five will get the headline?

    • oh no…. I didn’t think of that 😦

  5. Urrrghh, the dreaded “Hoke Koke” (sic?) – it certainly made me ill in primary, now why they didn’t give us quills to inscribe poetry on our fellow schoolgirl’s bottoms I’ll never know…

    Education, pah, dancing double pah!

    I have known a few backwards birds in my time though, and sometimes even the males would put on aggressive displays too – the things we do for sex.

    I need a cup of cocoa and a good strip of birch!

    The King

    • Don’t you mean “hokey pokey”?

      Or was that just a trick to make me write “pokey”

      • No, it is the hokey pokey down under I think… hmmm, now I didn’t mean that euphamism…

  6. This drunk guy fell asleep at this party onetime, so we drew a penis and scrotum on his face with black texta, but it didn’t increase his popularity with the laydeez.

  7. Mating rituals of animals are almost as weird as the mating rituals of human beings. Almost. Cool post. And the pictures? Priceless.

    • I really like The Borrow’d Plume

  8. Round these parts a few of the local men engage in a mating dance that involves making lots of money playing soccer.

    It seems to work a treat.

    Have any other readers came across similar successful mating strategies?

  9. I wonder if anyone ever produced a life-size Bill Clinton Doll.

    • I don’t think a vagina could stretch that wide

  10. They needed an apprentice? Is this where the term “wing man” comes from???

  11. apprentice bird? gives an entirely new meaning to the term “wingman”….

  12. I don’t get the title – tee hee.

    Anyway, I’ll stick to the tried and tested method of stealth, copious quantities of alcohol, a paperbag for my head and false promises ……

  13. Very sophisticated, not like the pidgeon outside my window this morning.

    A few bobs of the head at the female and then he jumped on her. When she flapped off he straight way flew to another female, bobbed a couple of times and then jumped on her. That didn’t succeed either.

    I think pidgeons have a lot in common with many of us human males except they don’t drink alcohol.

  14. I’m not wanting my testosterone levels to rise but I’m thinking I wouldn’t mind a few scribbles if it made me into a Sexual goddess. Maybe the scribbles could read, “If confined to a desert island, subject could lose 20 lbs…maybe”

  15. Spookily I watched a preening pigeon today .. fluffing up his feathers giving his best (strutting like a good ‘un,, oh he was giving it loads) to a female pigeon who was hopping as she had an injured foot.. he was not deterred and remained full on .. she just offskied and flew away without a moments hesitation .. 2 thoughts ?
    1. he was a novice and had not conquered his first or 2. she was a diva .. 🙂

  16. I bet the manikin’s moonwalk is more impressive than Mr Greece’s lame effort in the Eurovision!

    • One of many Eurovision moments that burnt my eyeballs……

  17. I don’t tan well but I do wear a lot of black. I need to hit the Sexual Adonis gym.

  18. Uh oh…I got the title. No amount of black marker will help me now!

  19. Yeah I got the title too, and then I sang the whole thing in my head.
    My body acted it out on it’s own.

  20. Would that I could lose 10% of my body fat just doing mating rituals. I try, heaven knows, I try.

  21. i like to draw on people. i think its sessy.

  22. I’m all for the 2 for 1 mating ritual … 2 males dancing on my every whim. Yep, I could handle that. And down here it is hokey kokey.

  23. OK I recall that man in the bodysuit with the organs and hated it as a kid. I didn’t hate him but the idea. I believe he was called slim goodbody.

    I’m breaking out the marker pen.

  24. I will not laugh the next time I see people dancing…I will not laugh the next time I see people dancing…

  25. Yes you will Anita 😉

  26. […] source […]

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