That Ostrich Over There? It’s Totally Into You

No, seriously. The next time you find yourself at an ostrich ranch, there’s a pretty good chance of you getting hit on by an ostrich. That’s because humans that raise ostriches — as is standard operating procedure on ostrich farms — have a significant impact on the flightless birds. What kind of impact? The kind that leads the birds to believe that a human would make a fine mate. Courtship behavior in ostriches takes two forms. The male does a little dance, flapping his wings, squatting down, and waving his neck back and forth. If a female likes what she sees, she’ll flap her wings backward, while bending her neck forward and making a clapping noise with her beak. It turns out that some ostrich farmers have been noticing that behavior more when they're present, leading them to believe that the birds are more interested in them than the female ostriches. Of course, scientists have been brought in to investigation, and sure enough when humans were present, nearly 70% of the ostriches hit on them, ignoring the female ostriches. It’s common for domesticated pets to form bonds with their owners, but wild animals can also develop bonds and become attracted to humans. The connection between humans and animals is both evident and mysterious at the same time. It’s a peculiar occurrence that requires more research about the reasons why such bonds develop.