Anthropologists and zoologists at the Natural History Museum are to offer lessons to men and women to help them flirt more effectively.
Using research conducted into the different flirting techniques employed around the world, experts will help 200 men and women learn how to harness their animal magnestism.
They will use lessons from the animal kingdom to show how to give off the right signals to potential mates.
Although it is considered to be one of the basic human instincts, many people find the subtle cues and unwritten rules of etiquette in flirting difficult to follow.
To mark the close of their Sexual Nature exhibition, bosses at the Natural History Museum have decided to draw on the wealth of knowledge that has been accumulated from research by social anthropologists and zoologists to teach people how to flirt effectively.
Tate Greenhaigh, a curator at the Natural History Museum, said: “Animals can trump anything that humans do – their courtship behaviour is hugely varied and in some cases quite extreme.
“In New York they believe you have to be obvious while Parisian women are thought of as being easy if they look at a man they like, so they show interest by averting their eyes. In Stockholm, it is more like they are blinking than making eye contact.
“In London, women give a few glances, but the men want more obvious signs because they are afraid of overstepping a mark. It is one reason why things don’t progress as quickly here in the UK.”
Male bower birds build impressive nests with grass and sticks to impress females while birds of paradise are famous for their extravagant courtship displays. Such flamboyant displays are fraught with danger for human males as posturing on the dance floor is often met with derision rather than admiring glances. Displays of wealth such as a nice mobile phone or flash car can work wonders.
Top flirting tips from the worlds of humans and animals
1. Make the men do the work
Male bower birds build impressive nests with grass and sticks to impress females while birds of paradise are famous for their extravagant courtship displays.
2. Get a wing man
Male manakin birds, found in the American tropics, often take on an apprentice to help them perform their enthusiastic dances and aid in attracting a mate.
3. Get physical
Sea horses entwine their tails together and swim together in tandem during their tender courtships while snails caress each other with their tentacles in order to find out if they are suited for each other.
4. Shake your tail feathers as one
Grebes perform complex dances where the male and female mimic each others choreography to show they are paying each other undivided attention. Such displays are common among humans too, with the continued popularity of paired sensual dances such as tango.
5. Get close, but don’t touch
Emperor penguins stand face to face with their head and neck extended upwards in one of the more tender moments in the animal kingdom.
6. Give gifts
Many species exchange gifts to attract a female. Among penguins it is common for males to collect pebbles to give to females while magpies collect shiny and brightly coloured objects to impress their females.
7. Throw some glances
Eye contact is probably one of the most important aspects of social interaction among humans, particularly when it comes to flirting.
8. Give off the right odours
In pigs, females on heat produce a scent that makes the male foam at the mouth. The hormones in his saliva in turn make her more reciprocal to him.
9. Look after your appearance
Birds will often pick at their feathers and flick their wings as a way of attracting the attentions of the opposite sex. Scarlett Macaws will preen themselves and even each other during courtship.
10. Use body language
Female gazelles take up characteristic body poses to signal that they are ready to start mating while flamingos perform salutes with their wings.
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