Best animal dancers

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 in Skills

Best animal dancers

 

Dancing isn’t just limited to the nightclub or the dodgy disco – animals like strutting their stuff too.  In the wild, a good dancer often gets the girl – while some use their fancy footwork to communicate, or even hypnotise their enemies.  These beasties like to boogie – and they boogie well.

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SHOW ME THE HONEY – DANCING HONEYBEES

One animal that loves to perform interpretive dance is your average honeybee – in fact, for them, it’s a way of life.  When one bee finds a new source of food, it will return to the hive and perform a unique dance to communicate the route to its family and friends!  This bizarre form of communication also allows them to decide on where to build new hives.

 

PLUMED PIROUETTE – THE WHOOPING CRANE

While the endangered whooping crane is one of many birds that dances to attract a mate, it’s also one of very few animals that actually does it for fun!  It’s said that a dancing crane is a confident one, and with its wild leg-kicks, bobs and weaves, they really need to know what they’re doing to avoid injury!  These natural dancers have been copied by tribes and choreographers the world over.

 

DEEP DISCO – THE CUTTLEFISH

While mating dances are a popular ritual in the bird and insect world, the sea-strutting cuttlefish is perhaps a minority in their colourful, flailing displays.  There certainly isn’t a fish that can adjust the colouring of its skin so vividly, even while putting on a fluttering to-and-fro with its tentacles.  The male actually changes its skin pattern to inform females that he’s of the opposite gender!

DANCING HYPNOTIST – THE STOAT 

Stoats and weasels are ruthless killing machines – most likely to take out a rabbit without a second thought – but, bizarrely, they’re also known for pulling off a bizarre series of breakdancing moves that have to be seen to be believed.  As shown in the video, a stoat will pounce, bounce and spin on its back (and even its head) purely to hypnotise its much larger prey – getting it so captivated in its performance that the crafty predator will take it unawares!

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WEEDING PARTY – THE GREAT CRESTED GREBE

The great-crested grebe is an aquatic bird that will pair up with another to perform an amazingly choreographed courtship dance that is less about attraction and more about commitment!  A grebe couple will mirror each others ducking, weaving and preening on the water with perfect timing – before finishing off the display with a final movement where each bird will duck into the water to retrieve each other a gift – usually a weed or other piece of nest material.

 

ON THE GLOW – THE WHITE’S SEAHORSE

This rare breed of seahorse, only found in Australian waters, adds something extra special to its mating dance.  While a pair of seahorses will twirl and mimic with brilliant timing and ease, they will know the ritual is at an end when one or both start to glow a completely different colour!  A pale fish will soon glow a brilliant yellow if the dance has been successful – sometimes it’s good to get obvious signals!

 

WEST SIDE SSSTORY – THE RATTLESNAKE

 Already a rather musical beast on account of its natural maracas, the rattlesnake’s dance might look like it’s a mating ritual – but unlike most of the animals in this article, the snake will dance to impose!  Two male snakes will square up, lean against each other, mimic, and generally show a bit of bravado before one slithers away, knowing he’s been beaten.  The victor gets a mate – female rattlesnakes love the best dancers!

 

THE ARACHNID ASTAIRE – THE JUMPING SPIDER

Whilst well known for being a spring-heeled champion of the spider world, the jumping spider is also incredibly smart, has incredible eyesight and performs complex courtship dances.  Indeed these colourful crawlers happily bust a wide variety of ‘tap dancing moves’ in order to attract a mate – its choreography and timing putting it up there with the tap-dancing greats!

 

BLAME IT ON THE BIRDIE – THE MANAKIN BIRD

The Manakin’s crazy tree-dancing skills have become something of a hit on the Internet (watch video below) – as its nimble backwards and sideways shuffles looks to copy Michael Jackson’s legendary moonwalk dancing!  This is actually part of a mating ritual – and if it has humans this impressed, it’ll be a sure fire hit with other Manakins!

 

 

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