By Joshua Chalmers
Beauty and the Beasts
Notes from David Attenborough
Although beauty is hard to define, nature makes it agreeable.
It is undeniable, the effect certain plants or animals have on us.
David says that greater birds of paradise are the pinnacle of natural beauty. Aesthetics are woven into their mainframe.
By why do they possess this natural exuberance.
Some say it is like trying to determine the reason blood is red.
As David ventured deeper into his research, he noticed that these birds have an aesthetic preference.
Meaning they choose mates based on how they look.
The bowerbird is a fascinating example of this.
The male birds go through extreme lengths to impress potential mates with inanimate objects. So the better at producing elaborate displays they are, the more rump in the sack there is. Darwin theorised that female paradise birds have evolved to hide their splendour as not to draw attention to the nest.
The great reed warbler proves that this preference extends to sound. Female mates are attracted by the number of syllables a male can produce. A good singer hits about 45.
Finally when Sir David was asked what animal he connected most with over his rich career. He said the sloth.
They’re always thinking, chewing, waiting or thinking.