Articles

Relationship & Animal Mating | Aggressive Male – Documentary

October 14, 2019


This is the loneliest animal on earth. His name is Jorge “The Loner” and he lives
here, on the Galapagos Islands. The reason for his nickname is that all others of his
species have died. He is the only one left. Jorge is an example of the importance, for
all living beings, of relations with others. Since the beginning of life in the sea, adaptation
has taught animals to establish relationships with other beings. Over millions of years,
driven by the idea that “united we stand”, many complex associations have been formed. No one on the planet wants to be forever alone,
and all animals surround themselves with more or less complex social structures, to increase
the chances of survival. The great herds of herbivores start by searching
for food together while they defend themselves from predators. But relations become more
complex when it is necessary to establish a hierarchy and rules governing communal life. In addition, these bonds are further complicated
by sexual reproduction, which implies the need to form couples and take care of the
offspring, and this makes it both more possible and more necessary to develop social intelligence. Groups become more complex in order to defend
themselves, but also to attack. Many fangs together can bring down larger
prey; but that makes it necessary to be organised,
to communicate, recognise each other, and share the meat. And conflicts need to be resolved, as far
as possible, without killing each other. Our life depends on it. The human mind has created bonds even beyond
the real world, seeking to communicate with superior beings who can help us explain the
thousands of questions posed by our enormous brains. It is these relationships that have enabled
mankind to colonise the entire earth, turning hominisation into humanisation, and making
the biological, cultural and environmental aspects inseparable. But let’s start at the beginning. This is
an albatross; since it was born, it has spent seven years flying and fishing out on the
ocean. And now it feels the irresistible urge to return to this island called Hispaniola,
on which it came into the world. It needs to find a lifelong mate, a bond which
may last for 50 years, so it’s important to make the right choice. The males arrive first, and wait. When they
meet, a complex ritual begins, their way of demonstrating a commitment to sharing their
genes ‘till death do us part’. Though it looks that way, this is not a combat
between rivals, but rather the courtship of animals with inexpressive faces, who have
to communicate through body gestures. Shortly afterwards, the grooming behaviour
consolidates the fundamental, and simplest bond between living beings: the couple. But some animals have developed reproductive
strategies in which stable relationships play no part. Here in Patagonia, Argentina, sex
is a rather more violent affair. This male elephant seal weighs 2,500 kilos.
He is capable of copulating with one hundred females in a single season, whether they want
to or not. He has fought hard to win this beach, and he won’t keep it for long. All
of the females must have his children, so there’s no time for seduction. Very few
achieve such a privilege – he is a grade one male, and all the females want big, strong
children like him. He will not be able to eat, and barely sleep,
because other males will constantly try to rape one of his females. And that means he
will have to fight. If the warning doesn’t work and the invader
persists, he will have to show him precisely why he is the king of the beach. For the females, a short rest before continuing. This is called “polygyny” and for the
females the evident sexual conflict is a guarantee of both the quantity and quality of descendents.
A biological pact which benefits both sides.

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