Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Animal Attraction 

When: Ongoing

What Comes Naturally

In ancient Rome, the god of fertility was honored in February, with ceremonial love lotteries and mock-floggings with a bloody goatskin. Even those are a pale reflection of truly bizarre courtships that unfold in the natural world. For example, the common garden snail is a hermaphrodite that carries both sets of genitals near its head. Once a week, it engages a new companion in an orgy of sensual caresses until the moment of genital penetration, when the “top” suddenly stabs its partner with a very sharp barb. (The snail’s “love dart” is tipped with a chemical compound that acts as an antidote for the critters’ natural birth control.) Taking a page from Isabella Rossellini’s award-winning Green Porno, the much-anticipated exhibit “Animal Attraction” explores all kinds of strange reproductive rituals. One is the creepy anglerfish, the male of which sinks his teeth into his mate and dissolves until nothing is left but gonads. Another is the exquisite bower bird, which attracts a partner through song, dance, and flamboyant architectural feats. Daily programs include dives in the world’s deepest living coral exhibit to shed light on reef reproduction; somewhat awkward demonstrations of bee dancing, which is crucial to pollination; and regular feedings of the African penguins, which we know form long-lasting same-sex couples in captivity.
— Silke Tudor


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a review

Roll over stars and click to rate.

Search for…



  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"



Become a Friend


Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed