Friday, May 25, 2012

Birds of Paradise (Amanda Stallard)

The quest to find the perfect man or woman is a goal that most humans and animals strive for. The primary motivating factor of finding a mate is so that we can have someone to love and share our life with.  The process of selecting a mate can be very complex and is often referred to as sexual selection.  The term sexual selection was first introduced by Charles Darwin in 1859 by his book titled, “On the Orgin of Species.”  The process of sexual selection varies from male to female and is based upon the need to find a compatible mate.  
We as humans are able to attract the opposite sex by one of two ways.  The first being making yourself attractive to the opposite or same sex.  In modern day society appearance is everything and most people form judgments about you within the first three to five seconds of meeting you. We are able to enhance our appearance by choosing clothing, accessories, makeup, and hairstyle that would be targeted towards attracting a certain type of mate.  Additionally we all strive to be successful by having a house, car, job, and money. These factors all enhance the likelihood that you will attract a mate that has the same type of ambitions and interest that you have as well.  The second approach to attracting a mate is by intimidating or defeating your rivals.  This is often seen when men or women try to out do their competition by enhancing their appearance, personality, or lifestyle. This approach is similar to Darwin's theory of  survival of the fittest because we are all competing for the same thing but there can be only one person that comes out on top.  
I chose to talk about the topic of sexual selection because I was watching Animal Planet television series called, “Planet Earth” about a year ago and there was a special on the New Guinea birds of paradise.  I was so fascinated by the elaborate mating ritual of the birds of paradise.  The male birds of paradise change their appearance by manipulating their feathers and then they preform a dance to attract any female birds that may be watching.  The female birds decide wither or not they like what the see and either accept or decline the male birds advances. I found it quite entertaining because as humans we are all doing a dance to attract our perfect mate.  The process of trying to find a partner is filled with plenty of rejection but that does not decrease our motivation to keep looking for the perfect mate.  


  1. I saw this documentary too and thought they're attraction dance was so interesting and actually a little funny. Puffing up feathers and dancing around seems silly to us, but i guess as humans we do even more sillier things to make ourselves attractive like makeup, clothes, body modifications (piercings and tattoos), and a bunch of other aesthetic modifications.