We all know how hard it is to find someone special—the dating scene is often cruel and pitiless. Sometimes we go to great lengths to win someone over, only to see our romantic gestures met with horrific indifference. It’s all a grueling process, but if we are tempted to complain, all we have to do is look to Mother Nature to gain perspective. As it turns out, nature is full of strange mating rituals, and the following list comprises several examples that will either make you laugh, scratch your head, or make you ill—or possibly all of the above—so read on only if you have a strong stomach.

Bonobos

These apes make love, not war. Rather than fight, these apes use sexual intercourse for nearly everything: they greet their fellow apes, solve disagreements, say sorry after fights, and even offer sex in exchange for food. And their sexual habits are varied. They kiss using their tongues, engage in oral sex, masturbate, and even have their own “penis-fencing” ritual.

Manakin Birds

Male Manakin birds know how to dance, and they do so to attract females. They will find a branch, and on it they’ll slide sideways and even backwards as if they’re moonwalking like Michael Jackson. What’s more, they’ll show off their booty by shaking their tail feathers.


Pandas

For some time, zookeepers the world over could not get pandas to breed—the pandas just didn’t seem to care. Then one day, researchers in China showed pandas pornography—panda pornography, to be exact—and doing so got pandas in the mood. Now when pandas reach the age to reproduce, zookeepers show these pandas pornography as a sort of sex education.

Bowerbird

A male bowerbird attracts a female by constructing a flashy home. He’ll decorate it with all sorts of items: stones, feathers, bits of flowers, bits of plastic and glass. Usually, the male will choose one particular color to decorate his bower with, such as red or blue. The males work for hours on their individual bowers, and they only take breaks to mess with other males’ bowers!

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