Dancing is the great human leveler. Almost every human society on the planet, from isolated Amazonian tribes to your local disco on a Friday night, exhibits the signs of the mating and fun ritual elements of dance.
So, should we be so surprised that some of our animal companions love to get their groove on too? After all, we’re really not that different when it comes down to our basic needs. We all need shelter, a regular food source, security from predators and a desire to mate.
Here in the Galapagos Islands, there are a number of examples of animals shaking their tail feathers. One of the islands’ most famous and well-loved inhabitants is famed for its dancing rituals. The blue-footed booby is almost a cartoon character in the avian world, thanks to its colorful and distinctive blue feet, inquisitive nature and high-stepping mating dance.
Seeing the dance in action during the breeding season, which runs from June to November, is quite something. Although the bad news is that numbers seem to be in decline, thanks largely to a shortage of sardine numbers in the water (something environmentalists are at a loss to explain). Breeding pair numbers have been in steady decline since the mid-90s, so seeing them on Galapagos tours is becoming a rare event.
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