Courtship: A Collage for LMAC #152

in Let's Make a Collage3 months ago

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Making an LMAC collage this week was not only fun--it was therapeutic. There were a lot moving wheels in my life over the last several days. Relaxation, rest between the gear shifts, was provided by my efforts to transform @shaka's spectacular template photo.

The Template by @shaka
fwl1CB9 - Imgur.jpg

I wasn't the only person inspired by this photo. Check out someone of the other interpretations on the LMAC curation blog, here.

Reproductive Strategies

Where did my interpretation originate? One never knows the answer to that, but probably a factor in the inspiration came from another blog I wrote this week about sharks. It is impossible to avoid the issue of propagation in reading about any species. This is, after all, the primary challenge and responsibility of every species. In Darwinian terms survival and successful propagation are the basis of a species' 'fitness'.

There are so many ways in which different organisms address and solve this problem. The beautiful creatures in my collage apparently have a courtship ritual. But how do they share genetic material? Because Hive is a PG 13 platform, I have not shown readers the next stage of the relationship :)

Reproducing Means Passing on Genetic Material--One Way or Another

Since this collage was inspired by sharks, I'll look at shark reproduction and that species' approach to evolutionary 'fitness'.

The first verified instance of a shark reproducing without exchanging genetic material with a mate from the opposite sex occurred in 2001, at a U. S. aquarium.

A Hammerhead Shark, Fernbank Museum of Natural History,GA, USA
Hammerhead Shark Eden, Janine and Jim from New York City 2.0.jpg
Credit: Eden, Janine and Jim from New York City. Used under CC 2.0 license.

In this instance of asexual reproduction, a hammerhead shark had been raised in the aquarium and resided only with females. Yet, she produced a pup (shark babies are called pups). Since 2001, there has been another case of a female shark reproducing without a male. This time it was a zebra shark in Australia, 2017.

Zebra Shark Baby (Not the One From Australia)
Zebra_Shark_Baby Gp258 4.0.jpeg
Credit: Gp258. Used under CC international license 4.0

The case of the zebra shark was particularly interesting because that shark had previously mated with a male, had been separated for years, and then reproduced asexually. It was the first known instance of a shark mating sexually, and then asexually.

In both cases, the hammerhead and zebra shark, the pups were tested to see if there was genetic material present from another shark. In both cases, the offspring contained only the genetic material of the mother. When there is a case of asexual reproduction such as these two represent, it is called parthenogenesis.

Caucasian Rock Lizards Reproduce Asexually
Caucasian Rock Lizard Alastair Rae from London, United Kingdom 2.0.jpg
Credit: Alastair Rae from London, United Kingdom. Used under
cc license 2.0.

It is possible to find sites on the Internet that claim in nature, parthenogenesis does not occur in mammals. Whales are mammals, so apparently those sites are wrong.

No matter how offspring come into the world, their method of conception is distinguished by essentially one fact: Were there two parents (sexual) or was there one parent (asexual)? When it comes to evolutionary advantage, two parents (exchanging genetic material) is better in the long run, because it leads to genetic diversity which tends to favor survival of the species.

Although I have cited two cases of shark parthenogenesis, overwhelmingly sharks reproduce sexually. The male inseminates the female, generally with violence. The male does so much biting that he leaves wounds. It has been surmised that a female shark's skin is much thicker than a male's so she can survive his attentions.

This video by Discovery on YouTube shows the scars inflicted and the aggressive mating behavior of a male shark:

When a female shark is inseminated, the sperm enters her eggs and fertilizes them. There are three ways the pups can be 'delivered'. The eggs can be deposited in the water, in which case the mother swims away and the offspring are on their own when they hatch. This is called oviparity. Another way is, the eggs can grow inside the mother and be fed by placenta/umbilical cord (viviparity). When 'delivered', the pups are then on their own. The third way of 'delivering' eggs is to have the egg grow inside the mother but be fed entirely by a yolk sac instead of a placenta. This is called ovoviviparity.

Great White Shark is Ovoviviparous
Great_white_aqurium Brocken Inaglory 1.2.jpg
Credit: Brocken Inaglory. CC 1.2 license. The shark my produce between 2 and 10 pups in a litter. Sometimes the first pup to hatch will cannibalize the others.. Survival of the fittest!

My Collage

This was fun. First I had a plainer version and thought I was done.

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But something was missing, so I added a snake that dropped from the ceiling and represented the loss of innocence.

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But then I got up this morning and thought I really hadn't done justice to the picture. All that empty space, wasted. The picture could have been so much more expressive. So I went to the LIL Image Gallery and found pictures from some of my favorite contributors.

From @muelli I borrowed the flower, that ties the stage curtain.

From @redheadpei I borrowed the moon that acts as stage lights

From @yaziris I borrowed the plant that helps to balance (I hope) the stage scene.

I borrowed vector images also from Pixabay:
The curtain
The stage

The other elements in my collage came from @shaka's amazingly rich template photo:
The dancers are numbered 1 and 2.
The hat on the female dancer is numbered 3.
Flowers on the stage, numbered 4 and 5
Snake numbered 6.
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Here are a few of the major steps on the way to the final collage:
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I used a lot of paint applications and filters from GIMP to get the effect I wanted. Also, frames and image manipulation were managed in Paint 3d. GIF constructions were accomplished in GIMP.

Here's a still of the base image:
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*Please note in the final GIF at the top of this blog: in addition to the dancers' movements, the overhead lights, the plant on the pedestal and the plants on stage move in sync as the 'excitement' builds.

LIL and the LMAC Collage Contest
Everyone on Hive is invited to join in the fun of making a collage. I've been doing it almost since the first week. There are prizes, but I don't compete. Making a collage is fun and a creative experience. Round 152 has concluded and you can view the amazing winning collages here. Tomorrow we begin a new round. Check out the new template photo when it is published on the LMAC community blog.

LIL, the LMAC Image Gallery, is an outgrowth of collage creation. Anyone on Hive may contribute to the library and everyone on Hive may borrow. Procedures are outlined here.

I hope you enjoyed my brief little excursion into shark evolutionary 'fitness'. I am fascinated by the creatures and will surely be blogging more about them in the future. I wish all my readers a peaceful day.

Thank you for reading my blog

Hive on!


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Thank you very much, @stemsocial. I appreciate very much that you support my post.

A beautiful creation A.G. @agmoore. I didn’t know about the females getting pregnant without the male. Interesting information as always.

Thanks for including my lil image. Love how the moon casts the light in your wonderful collage. 😊 🌝

Thank you, dear @redheadpei for stopping by and reading. I found this fascinating. Learning from the third generation (my granddaughter 😃)

Your moon is wonderful. Thank you. I want to share a picture with you.

We never discarded the decorative pumpkin from November. This is how it looks now.


The squirrels have started to eat it. We saw one squirrel sitting on it and nibbling. Look at the perfect hole, and the seeds inside. Of course, we will leave it until they have no use for it.

Take care my friend.

You are lucky to have a granddaughter dear A.G. The squirrel is making great work on your pumpkin. 🐿 We throw our decorative pumpkins in the forest..smashed so the wildlife can eat them. But I see they can nibble into the meat and seeds of the pumpkin anyway. 😆

We had a snow storm two days ago but for the next few days temps are staying above freezing. Snow will be gone.

Asexual reproduction is a new topic for me and quite interesting, thank you for awakening my curiosity with this subject.
Merry Christmas dear @agmoore

Merry Christmas, @brume7. I think it is fascinating that species find different ways of reproducing. The best part about blogging is that it's like going back to school. I learn all the time.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog.

The collage turned out to be quite beautiful and creative, something I like about your collage posts is that you always tell us the story behind your art and I find it quite entertaining and even educational, as the case today.

Thank you very much for that kind assessment, @malos. I really enjoy blogging, and very much enjoy making the collages. Hive for me is a gift, and when I have readers who are supportive, as you are, it is a greater gift.

Thanks again.

So sweet from you part to say that @agmoore for me hive is a gift too, it has helped me really a lot, in a principe it was the first reason why i didnt leaved my country when the crisis of venezuela started

shark babies are called pups

That's a rather cute label for such bitey creature.

The variety of sexual reproduction strategies in the animal kingdom is breathtaking. These sharks seem a little frisky in their approach to romance, but I imagine it varies between species. Great inspiration for your collage, which as always it's filled with delightful tidbits of knowledge. :)

but I imagine it varies between species

It seems to be pretty consistent across shark species (from the little I read). There may be exceptions (because there is so much we don't know), but it seems pretty much a violent encounter, and the female doesn't seem to have a say. Of course, it's new to me, so there's that😄

Fascinating creatures, aren't they?

Thanks for stopping by, @litguru

I thought there was a large shark that was vegetarian and very gentle. I bet you he puts on Barry White to get in the mood and only bites if asked. In defense of the other sharks, I would say that although they bite the females pretty hard, at least they don't eat her like the praying mantis female does the male. :P


What a beautiful collage and description of its content. You are a credit to the LMAC community. They are lucky to have you.

Hello my loyal friend. Thank so much for your endorsement and encouragement. These are highly valued and make me happy 🌺

How nice your collage gif, it's about shark courtship, I love your work.

I have read your post about sharks and their electromagnetic sensors and the use that can be given to them. The truth is that I have seen many documentaries about sharks, but these days you have shown many things I didn't know about them.

I love your work

That makes me very happy :)

I have shown you things I didn't know until I read them recently. Glad you find this information interesting. Not everyone would.

Thanks for stopping by @innfauno12 and congratulations on the win!

Again another informative post @agmoore . I love the shine after the two peacocks kiss...
It seems like it's sealing the deal 😂😂😂

Thank you @seki1. I really had fun creating these two characters and animating the collage. That's really how each blog should go, isn't it? Fun.

I'm glad you noticed the finale 😄

Yh it should be 😂😂😂

Did not know any of that :)

How original to add a whole, education bit on the assets. 👏

And animate them. Yeay!

Hello @nickydee,

Thank you for stopping by. I didn't know any of that either, until I read it for this blog. The best part of blogging is, I learn so much😄

Animation was the fun part. I'm happy you liked that touch. Thank you!

I really love reading everyone's stuff and catching up, so the pleasure was all mine here.

Also nuts about the ocean so... :)

And learning as well! Well said.

Have a super creative day 🌺


I just received a surprise!

So cool of you. Thank you 😊🖖💐


Asexual reproduction in mammals! Now that's interesting. I wonder if we humans could somehow accomplish that one. Now we're unable to identify what a woman is, we might need it...And, love your collage:)

Hello @deirdyweirdy,
Thank you very much for visiting☘️ I love that bit about mammals, not so much for their potential, but for what it shows about our ignorance. We explore space, worry about AI, and we can't even describe so much of life on our planet (and in our own bodies!!!)

Now we're unable to identify what a woman is

Remember Rumsfeld?: 😂"There are known knowns. ... There are known unknowns... But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know

That's the state of gender politics today. We're just catching up to Rumsfeld