‘Ee!’ say young animals.
Or ‘Ee! Ee!’ when elaborating on the theme.
Much of what they say is expressed as they dedicate themselves to what we term ‘arsing around’ in a naïve, cuddly fashion. High on the agenda is becoming their proper size and frivolity until all of a sudden they turn nasty on a whim, baring their teeth in a lairy kind of way, effectively shouting aggressive, uncompromising things like ‘Raaaar!’ in place of their former squeak. Animals decide from this moment that they would rather digest those they once played with.
Remarkably, encoded in this very vocal shift is the way in which these animals act to unite their sperm and eggs.
The instant transition from a high-pitched playful ‘Ee!’ to an anger-unmanaged, low-pitched roar exemplifies how they react to situations armed with a limited range of stock responses. How they act impulsively on what we call their ‘animal instincts’. Birds expecting egg emergence will act to construct a twiggy nursery. Honeybees will dance to communicate the location of a food source, the equivalent in human terms to a restaurant critic with a favourable review ditching the write-up in favour of intercepting people in the street and performing something akin to a GPS-enhanced Irish jig. And so at maturity, animals trust to instinct to answer urgently the nagging call to consolidate sperm and egg. ‘Speed mating’ is key because the deed is limited to very narrow time-windows, at most a couple of hours out of every year, in what are described as ‘seasons’ when they pick up on visual and smelly cues, galvanise themselves into wildly frisky activity and knock each other over in a tumultuous frenzy. The clumsy intent is imperative because animals are under pressure to ‘knock out’ when they can, not one but numerous litters in their lifetime.
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