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Seductive teeth


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During the mating season, females of all species have the arduous task of choosing the father of their offspring. It is by no means a simple task. Females must select a strong and healthy male who ensures the future offspring’s well-being. This causes the female to have no rush to mate and takes her time, waiting to be seduced.

On land, the peacock extends its feathers in an attempt to dazzle the females, but underwater, the rules are different, and strength is the basis of survival. Among barracudas, when the mating season arrives, males swim alongside females, showing off their teeth. There are even moments when courtship tastes like a threat, as the male opens his mouth and makes gestures as if trying to bite her. Perhaps, among barracudas, displaying a good set of teeth is related to good feeding, indicating a more successful hunter and, therefore, better equipped.

Sharks, on the other hand, prefer to take action. Males swim for hours alongside receptive females, using their teeth to harm them specifically on the flanks, gills, and pectoral fins. In reality, sharks do not bite females; instead, they use their upper jaw like a knife, inflicting small but deep cuts on the females’ flanks. Perhaps, this is a seduction method based on violence, demonstrating to the female the great aggression of a strong male. However, it is also possible that this is a method to exhaust the female and weaken her, making it easier for the male to mate with her.

Obviously, this seduction method releases a significant amount of blood into the sea, and considering that blood incites shark attacks, it is not illogical to wonder why the male doesn’t end up biting and feeding on the female. Fortunately for future shark mothers, their mating periods trigger a “non-feeding” response in males, entering a brief fasting period. In fact, sharks are not seen hunting and feeding in reproduction areas. To prevent the wounds caused from seriously harming the females, they have developed thicker skin tissue in the areas that the male usually targets during his act of seduction.

In a violent environment where killing is necessary for survival, it is logical that violence becomes the most effective means of seduction. The most capable male, in the realm of survival, will always be chosen by the female who desires healthy offspring to ensure the species’ continuity.

“One cannot defend what one does not love, and one cannot love what one does not know.”