Still looking for Valentine's Day plans? Take a cue from the animal kingdom

Valentine's Day can be a scary thing to plan for. There are heightened expectations, guess work, the high risk of going too corny or not corny enough. Which is why we say you leave it all in the hands of Mother Nature, who is really in charge of this whole love thing anyway. Below, several animal mating rituals, adapted to us homo sapiens.

1. Male Australian Redback Spider Mating Habit: The male redback spider must court the female for one hundred minutes, weaving his own web into the female's and beating on her abdomen as though it were a drum. If he fails to do this for long enough or to the satisfaction of the female, she bites his head off. Human Equivalent: Raise the stakes a little. The man must dance to the music of the woman's choosing for one hour, and if his dancing is unsatisfactory, she should mock the size of his penis and make out with his best friend.

2. Flatworms Mating Habit: The flatworms, possessed of both reproductive organs, stab each other with their penises, and whoever gets stabbed the most is inseminated and must bear the children. Human Equivalent: Stage a wrestle/tickle fight and the loser must do dishes for a week.

3. Frigatebird Mating Habit: The male inflates his throat sac into a huge, red, heart-shaped ballon. The female chooses whoever has the biggest, shiniest throat sac. Then, he covers her eyes with his wing during sex to make sure she doesn't get distracted by the throat sacs of romantic competitors. Human Equivalent: Lodo.

4. Giraffe Mating Habit: The male nudges the female's behind to induce urination. He takes a mouthful of piss to determine if she's ready for babies. If she is, he follows her around until she gets too tired to refuse sex. Human Equivalent: ...Lodo?

5. Bonobo Mating Habit: Bonobos are pretty much the holy grail of sexified animals. They use sex to greet each other, to settle arguments, whatever. They also don't shy away from, ahem, non-reproductive sexual encounters. Human Equivalent: Go to a swingers party.

6. Spotted Hyena Mating Habit: The female has a thing called a pseudo-penis and is the dominant gender. Human Equivalent: Find a transvestite, obviously.

7. Panda Mating Habit: Zookeepers struggling to encourage pandas to mate decided to show them video of other pandas mating. It worked. Human Equivalent: Yeah, we'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one.

8. Lion Mating Habit: To help ensure loyalty among males in a pack, they will often engage in sex with each other in order to strengthen bonds. Human Equivalent: Join a fraternity.

9. Humpback Whale Mating Habit: Males will "sing" songs to try and woo their female counterparts. If there are other males present, they will change their song in a sort of one-upsmanship. Human Equivalent: Take your significant other to a public place and serenade them loudly. If any passersby force you stop for any reason, you go home separately.

10. Bald Eagle Mating Habit: Bald eagles mate for life, build homes together high in trees, and raise babies as a team. Human Equivalent: Awwww....

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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky