Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Mating Ritual

The sinuous-nosed rat gets its name from the shape of the males' preposterously long nostrils. Males remain brightly colored all year round thanks to their noxious saliva which they meticulously coat their fur with. Male rats use their nostrils in both threat displays against predators and during courtship. During the mating season males and female engage in a comical courtship dance. When a male and female meet the male rat will begin waving his nostrils rhythmically across the forest floor while making soft tooting noises. The female will then leap into the fray, dancing around the male's nostrils. If the male is impressed with the female's dancing and the female is impressed with the male's nasal movements they will mate. After mating the male will take the time to clean the female's fur saturating it with his poisonous saliva before he leaves her. The female is not effected by the toxins and has a little extra security against predators after most likely calling attention to herself during such a conspicuous mating ritual.