A French angelfish amongst coral.

Whale You Be My Valentine?

February, of course, popular for it’s day of love. Flowers and chocolates and gifts for everyone! Marine animals may not have celebrated Valentine’s Day, but there are plenty of critters that live in the sea that could teach us a thing or two about romance. Let’s dive in and learn a little about amore (but maybe not from a moray).

– French Angelfish are monogamous for life! They’ll work together to defend their territory against other animals.

– The albatross, a large oceanic bird, will conduct a mating dance in order to find the perfect mate – which they will probably stay with for life in order to increase the likelihood of survival for the once chick they will have together.

– A few different species of shrimp will live inside sponges together, mating for life and keeping their home clean and eating whatever comes along.

– When Adele and Gentoo penguin females are looking for the perfect mate – they like to be impressed by something shiny (don’t we all?!). They wait for the male who can bring her the perfect stone. If she likes the gift, they will start building their nest together to get ready to lay an egg.

– You may have seen a picture or video of adorable sea otters holding hands and thought – that’s true love! Well, not exactly. The handholding keeps sea otter groups together, however, when it comes to mating they are not a monogamous species. We can still enjoy the sweet moments watching them float around together.

– In a much less adorable fuzzy otters holding hands kind of way, the male Angler Fish shows the most dedication to his mate. When mature, he will immediately find his perfect female and attach himself to her body, connecting their digestive systems….. forever.

– A commonly known fact is that male seahorses will carry their offspring instead of females – there is no better way to be helpful and show you care, right ladies?! With a mate like that, why wouldn’t you stay together for life?

– The male Japenese puffer fish creates a beautiful mandala-like display on the ocean floor to attract a mate. It’s an impressive amount of work that should woo even the pickiest of mates.

These, and many other, examples of love in the ocean are not the only way that the ocean can inspire romance. It’s beauty and serenity has inspired generations to feel happiness and joy. Aquatopia will continue to work hard to spread knowledge and a message of conservation so that it will be healthy and inspiring for many future generations. We hope you had a great Valentine’s Day and had the chance to experience the love of the ocean during the month of February.

Resources: SmithsonianMag.org; Oceana.org; NationalGeographic.com