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Valentine’s Day in the Animal Kingdom

By Ethan Shea

"Magnificent Riflebird"

Image courtesy of National Geographic

It’s that time of year when everyone searches for creative ways to express their feelings for each other. You may choose to buy chocolates, write a poem, or send flowers, but maybe you could learn a thing or two about romance from the animal kingdom.

As humans, we’re inclined to believe our methods of courtship are more sophisticated than our avian and marine cohabitants, but I think our mating rituals are outshined pretty often. If you don’t agree, check out how the following animals express their love for one another and think about the last time someone put that much effort into an attempt to win your affection.

To kick things off, the Magnificent Riflebird certainly lives up to its name. This feathered fellow is known for its dancing skills in the animal world. The male Riflebird will reveal his sparkling blue throat feathers then proceed to rapidly shake his head from side to side to impress a potential mate. You can check out an example of such a performance here. Personally, I think the Riflebird’s mating ritual is a much better idea than putting on a flashy outfit then hitting the dance floor. I’ve heard one has a markedly higher success rate than the other.

"White-Spotted Pufferfish Courtship Display"

Image courtesy of PBS

The male White-Spotted Pufferfish has an equally elaborate strategy to attract mates. This hardworking fish works tirelessly, 24 hours a day for an entire week, to create a form of undersea crop circle. He uses his flippers to create patterns in the sand and even adorns his creation with shells. You can watch the artist himself at work here. If you’ve ever painted or sketched something for a potential partner, just know the White-Spotted Pufferfish has forever raised the bar for all of us romantic artists.

Remaining in the underwater world for the moment, certain species of Anglerfish have a courtship routine we should treat as an example of what not to do. When it’s time to mate, the male Anglerfish will attach himself to the female and cling to her like a parasite. Eventually his body withers away and he survives only from nutrients he receives from her blood. Talk about a toxic relationship with a clingy boyfriend! To see what such a couple looks like, click here.

If you love learning about the natural world as much as I do, you’re in luck because several episodes of Planet Earth are available to stream on Falvey Library’s website. Here, you can learn about everything from wildlife to the formation of the planet itself.

I hope these mating rituals inspire you to put some extra effort into your Valentine’s Day plans this year! Just remember, you shouldn’t be too clingy, but don’t be afraid to learn an extravagant dance routine to impress your crush!


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Love is in the stacks!

By Daniella Snyder

I’m Daniella Snyder, a graduate student at Villanova University, and your ‘Cat in Falvey Library’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics– from research to study habits and everything in between– and how the Falvey Library can play a large role in your success here on campus!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Wildcats! Whether you’re celebrating with your sweetheart, your gal pals, or your dog…the day is meant to be filled with love, happiness, and appreciation for those you love the most.

This week, I pulled some books out of the stack that attempt to demystify the mysterious and elusive feeling of love: why we feel it, how it affects us, and why it matters at all. There’s a book for every person’s unique interests, including computer science, economics, mathematics, chemistry, history, sociology, and psychology. This week, curl up with a good book to learn what love is all about.

cover image for "love, a history"

Source: Amazon.com

Love: A History by Simon May

May covers over 2,500 years of human history in his book, offering an in-depth and critical historical look at love. May turns to cultural studies, philosophy, literature and more, dissecting love and all its forms.

cover image of "the art of loving"

Source: Amazon.com

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

Social psychologist Erich Fromm gives a sociological overview of the cultural forces influencing the way we think about “true love.” Then, he shares how we can best carry out the “pragmatic art” of loving others, which involves discipline, patience, courage, and other daily practices.

cover image of "consuming the romantic utopia"

Source: Amazon.com

 

Consuming the Romantic Utopia: Love & the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism by Eva Illouz

Illouz, a sociologist, believes that feelings of love are subconsciously influenced by social trends, and in particular, capitalism and consumer culture. In Consuming the Romantic Utopia, Illouz explores the ways in which modern capitalist societies have endorsed “grand ideals of love” upon us, in books, magazines, television, movies, and music.

cover image for "the mathematics of love"

Source: Amazon.com

The Mathematics of Love: Patterns, Proofs, and the Search for the Ultimate Equation by Hannah Fry

Fry writes a “compulsively readable examination” behind the statistics of love, from dating to divorce, and everything in between. Fry uses mathematical patterns to predict the unpredictable: love.

Cover image for "the chemistry been us"

Source: Amazon.com

Chemistry Between Us by Larry Young, Ph.D and Brian Alexander

Young and Alexander explore the theory of love that we often ignore: the chemicals in our brains that drive attraction, sexual orientation, and desire.

cover image for "data, a love story"

Source: Amazon.com

Data, A Love Story: How I Cracked the Online Dating Code to Meet My Match by Amy Webb

Webb writes about her own experiences with the modern online dating work, and how she found true and lasting love. This book is a perfect read for anyone trying to find love in our current technological world.


Daniella Snyder HeadshotDaniella Snyder’s favorite book about love? all about love by bell hooks.


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Foto Friday: We Love A Good Book

We love a good book! To celebrate National Read A Book Day, pick up a copy of this year’s One Book Villanova selection, I Will Always Write Back. See which books Villanovans have frequented in our Holy Grounds display on the first floor…and be sure to grab a free Falvey sticker.


Kallie Stahl, MA ’17 is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 

 


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Last Modified: September 6, 2019