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A bird-of-paradise must become a lord of the dance to woo a discerning mate

Far from amateurs on the dancefloor, males of the bird-of-paradise species known as Carola’s parotia practise their moves for hours a day before finally performing for a tough crowd of desirable females in a one-of-a-kind competition. Their nearly predator-free existence on Papua New Guinea has allowed the birds to develop an elaborate courtship dance of jumping, shimmying and shaking that is one of the most complex in the animal world.

1 February 2016

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