How Animals Show Expressions of Love to Each Other
It is not known whether animals express romantic love towards each other, but there evidence showing they can experience the same emotions that humans can. Most mammals’ brains are similar to that of man. A cat has a smaller brain compared to humans, but their surface folding and brain structure are almost 90 percent similar to that of humans. This implies that they may be able to experience romantic love, we may not know for sure.
Pets’ Expression of Affection
The one thing we can be sure of is that zoo animals and pets form a strong attachment to their caregivers and since an attachment is a type of love, then animals are can certainly love their caregivers. Dogs are said to love their masters or caregivers that they can even mourn their death for years. A study conducted to confirm dogs’ attachment to their owners saw the observation of cats and dogs’ reactions in response to strangers and their owners. Securely attached dogs had a tendency to behave like infants after their owners left while this was not the case in cats. Cats seemed to exhibit an avoidant attachment style of greeting strangers happily and ignoring their owners. However, this was not indicative that cats could not form attachments.
Dogs appear to be in tune with their owners’ emotions, which is why they can act as loyal companions when the owner is in need. Another study found that dogs had a higher likelihood of approaching someone who was crying than they would with someone who was humming or talking. Dogs were also found to respond with submissive behaviour when someone was crying. Researchers concluded that the contrast showed that their response to crying was not just because of curiosity but also due to their simple perception of human distress. The results of the study showed that dogs seem to comfort sorrowful owners and assumed a temporary caregiving role suggesting a complicated attachment pattern in canines.
Animals’ Expression of Affection to Each Other
There is a possibility that animals can also express attachment affection for each other. Typically, when we see animals kissing, we assume that it is romantic but this is not always the case. Prairie dogs are said to use kissing as a way of recognizing each other. Female bunnies can cry when they are trying to get the male bunny’s attention if it is not because of irritation. At times, we hear cases of animals forming attachment relationships with members of other animal species. Animals usually exhibit one display of love in each species and here are some of the ways animals show love to their mates.
Albatrosses show love for their mates through an elaborate dance followed by a sword fight. They begin by bobbing their heads up and down as they circle each other. This becomes a competition to establish a position in the upcoming battle. They will knock their beaks together multiple times. The cycle goes head-bobbing then beak play followed by gabbing and finishing up with a honk to exhibit happiness.
Elephants have multiple ways to demonstrate love for each other, which is no surprise considering they are almost as emotionally complex as we are. They caress each other using their trunks to display friendship and love. When they are looking to find a brood-mate, they will sword fight using their trunks and intertwine them eventually to indicate solidarity. Loud trumpeting usually shows happiness or excitement. They constantly remind each other that they appreciate and love each other by playing with tails and ears or touching and rubbing constantly.
Eastern Cottontail Rabbits
When eastern cottontail rabbits are attracted to each other, the male rabbit chases the female rabbit until she is tired. She then turns and wallops the male in the face and the male turns to give chase once again until he is boxed again in the face. This goes on until one rabbit ends the foreplay by jumping high in the air to signal that they are in love. The other rabbit also jumps in the air if they feel the same after which they can begin mating.
The male Frigatebird has a large red pouch on it neck which it uses to impress the females. When the male wants to court, he inflates the pouch to its biggest size and waits to see if any female birds fall for him. The pouch on the male bird’s neck has an almost heart-like shape particularly when the beak casts a shadow forming a curve at the top of the heart.
It is worth noting that snails are hermaphroditic meaning that when two snails meet and establish a chemistry they will first need to determine who is the male and who is the female. They establish a compromise that both snails will be both male and female. The snails then rub their antennae together for anywhere between two hours and 12 hours. They will each stab each other with a sharp, hard needle known as a love dart that pricks the body near the female reproductive organs filling it with sperm to begin the mating process.
These animals are found in the darkest and deepest depths of the ocean and the bigger, giant-toothed monsters are all females while the male anglerfish is a tiny blob of a tadpole. When a blob locates a female anglerfish, he bites her side and attaches to her. He then starts absorbing himself into her body and dissolves into sperm which then forms a small baby-building lump in the now-pregnant female anglerfish.
A male seahorse will initiate the love dance by glowing in different colors to let females know he is ready to mate. The male and female seahorse begin dancing while linking their tails and swimming with each other around in circles. After some time (minutes, hours, days), the dance will end with the baby making process. The two seahorses lean back and they will lock stomachs. Their snouts will intertwine with their bodies to form a heart shape and the female transfers her eggs into the male for the lifecycle to begin.