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Despite the audible sounds of crickets filling the silence, there were no uncomfortable moments. Despite slides of duck reproductive organs and fish relations, there were no blushing faces.

Despite it being the night before Valentine’s Day, there were no bashful people.

It was time to Wait, Date, and Mate!

It was another warm February day, when people entered the extraordinarily unique venue of Invisible City in Denver. Attendees scurried their way to the bar to grab a delectable cocktail before turning to see the beautiful space.

Laid out, were dozens of plants interspersed with strange spatial pieces like chests, glass tables, and loveseats (pun intended). Around the corner, attendees meandered from room to room to find a shower with stairs, a balcony with a bedroom, and a basement with a maze of tunnels.

Adventurers gaze at guppies in different phases of evolution.

All the while, a jazz band played the sonorous sounds that compel people to move swiftly.

Tables with terrariums of crickets and glass beakers of guppies were presented before attendees where they could observe the sporadic movements of some of life’s simplest of species. Then, before they could drain their second drink, the night’s host, Robin Tinghitella took to the stage.

A behavioral ecologist at the University of Denver, Robin runs an animal behavior lab with her grad students where they study how changing environments affect animal communication and behavior.

Beginning with the five lessons of love from the animal kingdom, Robin described the many ways that animals woo their mates and extend the longevity of their offspring. Methods of the wooing garnered several laughs as the night went on.

From male crickets who use “wing-man” tactics to attract a female and then steal her in the last moment, to bowerbirds who build elaborate, colorful nests to land a mate in the sack, it became evident that animals “do some weird things to get laid.”

The male bowerbird builds his elaborate nest to woo female bowerbirds.

It was almost impossible not to see the parallels which humans share with their fellow animal species to attract mates. Although we humans see ourselves as civilized, we are still capable of doing some strange things in order to find the one.

Women who practice selectivity based on male hierarchy arguably happens in every bar in the world. Males who build elaborate nests could be construed as resource accumulation which suggests a higher likelihood of survival for offspring – in the human and animal world (both of which are synonymous).

No matter what the animals do, it was, in some way, attributable to our human tendencies.

Robin ended her compelling presentation with deeper clarity that exists both in the animal kingdom and human civilization.

The night then progressed into a mixture of conversations, observations of crickets mating, and endless laughter. As people began leaving the rambunctious atmosphere, it was clear that each was a little nerdier, a little clearer, and a little more lovable of the human world to which they would return.



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