Show-Offs (Animal Behavior Series) by Bernard Stonehouse
Throughout the animal kingdom generally, showing off is widespread. Many animals for many different reasons need to draw attention to themselves. They may shout, sing from the treetops, wear bright colors, dance up and down, or emit clouds of perfume. Biologists call it “display,” but that is just another name for showing off. Displays have functions and advantages as well as dangers. Some are essential for courtship. Among animals, it is usually the males who posture and decorate themselves, and the females who select from among them. Some decorations, however, are simple warnings. Just a few are lies, as when harmless animals are dressed to look like more dangerous ones. We like animals that show off. As is demonstrated in this book, showing off adds much to the interest and excitement of life.