Valentine’s Day is a special occasion set aside to show love to friends, spouses, colleagues, and family. Finding the best Valentine’s day gifts for your dive buddy doesn’t need to be difficult.
What’s cuter than spending your Valentine’s day finding out all about the love lives of your favorite marine animals? A romantic getaway on a scuba diving liveaboard trip I hear you say. Well, you’re not wrong, but for those of us that aren’t so lucky, we’ve put together some wonderful and weird marine life facts about the romantics of the marine environment.
Romantic Marine Life Ocean Facts
From some rather unusual facts about different types of octopus to romantic courting penguins, you’ll be amazed to learn how love is expressed in the deep ocean world.
For our friends who have a keen interest in sea creatures, here are some amazing habits from marine life and animals who live in our beautiful world.
1. Penguins – Dance to Win Her Heart
Penguins’ sex lives are so scandalous and here’s why. They are monogamous, engaged, or divorced. To win the heart of a female penguin is like going for an official interview for the male, where you need to impress and always stay one step ahead of other candidates.
Male penguins are impressive when it comes to charm. At first, when a male Adélie penguin goes in search of a partner, he looks as impressive as a young man in a tux. His steps are charming and confident. He dramatically approaches a female by dancing and uses the right pebbles to show love.
Before winning her heart, he needs to prove his strength. As a result, he finds stones to build nests. Adélie penguins will engage in prostitution by sleeping with other male penguins just to trade stones to build the nests where they lay eggs. I said scandalous, didn’t I?! Find out more facts about penguins here.
Awkward right? Regardless, the love life of penguins is adorable, especially for a new couple. When the male penguin returns from fishing, he’s welcomed by his new partner who has just moved into her nest. They cuddle and spend the day singing to each other in the cold.
2. Pacific Octopus – Like Romeo and Juliet: Love You to Death
It is obvious that octopus reproduction must happen but “how?” is the greatest question. Love, in the octopus world, is a battlefield. Studies show that the Pacific Octopus usually mate once in its life, afterwards, it loses its mind and eventually dies. Before mating, octopuses will perform courtship rituals.
During this courtship, males are aware that they face grave risks during sex. After mating, the male Pacific octopus will stop eating. They are then left to wander through the ocean, making them easy targets for seals or other larger creatures.
Sometimes octopus sex ends in cannibalism because their copulation is complex. This is as a result of the tentacles surrounding their arms. In most cases, the male will rip his hand off just to escape sex alive while the female octopus retreats to a hole to lay and care for her eggs.
At this stage, she loses about 70% of her body weight and eventually dies after her eggs come alive. One amazing thing about the love life of the Pacific octopus is that they take three to four hours to mate. There’s something to think about.
3. Angelfish – Don’t Let the Angels Fool You
Angelfish are beautiful marine creatures with silvery-blue colored and covered with dark, longitudinal stripes (freshwater angelfish) or blue, red, yellow, or green-colored and covered with several bright markings (marine angelfish). Angelfish are identical; it is not an easy task to distinguish between a male and a female.
So when you see them move together, don’t let the angels fool you – there is a lover in the group. Naturally, fish are not monogamous. However, among others, the angelfish is an exception. They never walk alone plus they hunt and sleep in a pair.
At the age of 6 – 12 months, freshwater angelfish reach sexual maturity. The female produces 100 to 1000 eggs per season but it is both parent’s responsibility to protect their eggs until they hatch and offspring when they hatch.
4. Seahorses – Weird but True Love
For centuries, seahorses are renowned to be the most faithful creatures on earth. This fish has an unusual method of reproduction in that they can change sex. It is important to note that in seahorses, it is the males that get pregnant and give birth to young ones, not the female.
Male seahorses possess pouches on their abdomens for incubating eggs. Seahorses perform elaborate dance rituals that may last for days, depending on the female.
Males with bigger bellies are at an advantage as they would easily attract females. Once they have sex, hundreds of fertilized eggs are protected within a pouch on a male’s body until they develop.
While the males are incubating the eggs in their pouch, the females get ready to lay the next batch. Their period of courtship lasts up to nine hours which means enough time to showcase their love.
There you have it! So if like puffins, should you choose to wait for up to six years, to mate but remain faithful forever or you’d rather mate in the full moon like the Nassau Grouper, the most important thing is for you to have a creative romance month in February. Happy Valentine’s Day!