‘Romeo seeking Juliet in the animal kingdom’

Wondering how to woo your crush this Valentine ’s Day? When it comes to love, don’t wing it — take a lesson from the birds (and bees) instead.“Humans often believe romance is unique to our species, but it’s not,” said Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, co-director of  UCLA ’s Evolutionary Medicine Program. “Sexual conversations unfold across the animal kingdom between individuals who are sizing each other up.”Mirroring the drama of the human world, romance in the wild is never certain. Plenty of animal suitors get rejected.“Unlike a dance or ritual with preset steps, the outcome of courtship hangs in the balance,” said Natterson-Horowitz, who is also a professor of cardiology at theDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Her research and years of studying animal species in the field have led to new insights into human health and behavior.With Kathryn Bowers, Natterson-Horowitz co-authored the bestselling “Zoobiquity, ” an award-winning book that proposes veterinary science and evolutionary biology are essential to understanding humanity.Their latest book, “Wildhood, ” swings its lens to adolescence — a time of boundary-testing and sexual learning for every species. But for many animals, entering puberty doesn’t immediately launch their love lives.“It takes practice to become a good romantic partner,” said Natterson-Horowitz. “And practicing is the pu...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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