Humans may have invented the most commercial love-themed holiday of all time, but we don't hold a monopoly on courtship.
Many creatures go to great lengths or stage elaborate displays to woo an elusive mate. Below we have a collection of seven most romantic animals.
1. The Pufferfish Who Makes Incredible Sand Circles
If you spotted a 2-metre wide geometric circle drawn on a sandy seabed, you probably wouldn't suspect the culprit was a tiny twelve-centimetre-long male pufferfish. Scientists first spotted one of these fish creating the beautifully complex structures in 2011. The tiny, plain-looking fish uses only his fins to build a masterpiece over the course of a week. He even picks up little shells to decorate the place!
2. The Art Of Gorilla Seduction
What's a gorilla to do when she wants the silverback to father her babies? When straightforward and shameless flirtation doesn't work, it's time to make him a little jealous. For perfection, David Attenborough narrates the scene.
3. The Australian Lizards That Bond for Life
Shingleback lizards live in open country, scaling many of the plains of inland Australia. Solitary and slow-moving, the reptiles wander the outback until it's time to reunite with their partners for a couple months a year. These lizards bond for life, which can often mean at least twenty years.
4. The Birds Who Commit To Each Other In Dance
Clarks grebes are another monogamous animal species who mate for life. When the female tests her partner's commitment, she invites him to a synchronous dance that involves lots of head bobbing and grooming, as well as a beautiful water-threading climax.
5. Polar Bears On A Playful Date
According to polar bears, skiing down slopes, trampling through the snow and rolling around makes for an excellent and even sexy date. It's seldom that adult animals play together, but courtship is one of the rare exceptions—allow these two bears to demonstrate.
6. Minuscule Peacock Spiders With Unique Dances
They might only be four millimetres long, but these Australian jumping spiders use remarkable disco moves to attract mates. Six previously unnamed species were formally described last year, and the authors accompanied their research with footage of the spiders' highly entertaining dance moves.
7. Flamingoes Look For Mates In A Crowd
If you think that looking for a mate on social dating apps is hard, try being a flamingo. These birds in Tanzania attend huge gatherings, parading around in a swirling crowd, eyeing each others' features until they find someone compatible. Once they do, the couples often become monogamous, although as social birds flamingos typically live in huge flocks.