Divocí příbuzní

Co nám zvířecí námluvy a páření zvířat prozrazují o lidských vztazích

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Stejně jako mnoho jiných živočišných druhů i my musíme přijít na to, jak si najít partnera a úspěšně se množit. Je to sice hodně obtížné, ale mluvit o tom se zdá být ještě mnohem náročnější. A právě v tom nám mohou jiné živočišné druhy pomoci. Možná zjistíte, že zmínky o tokajících tetřívcích prérijních, o vybíravých lvicích nebo o nevěrných...

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Edice: Překlad: Tamara Váňová Formát: šitá brož s klopami, 14 × 20,8 cm, 228 stran Vydání: 1 ISBN: 978-80-7485-108-7 Rok vydání: 2016 PROMO: Otevřít v pdf

Stejně jako mnoho jiných živočišných druhů i my musíme přijít na to, jak si najít partnera a úspěšně se množit. Je to sice hodně obtížné, ale mluvit o tom se zdá být ještě mnohem náročnější. A právě v tom nám mohou jiné živočišné druhy pomoci. Možná zjistíte, že zmínky o tokajících tetřívcích prérijních, o vybíravých lvicích nebo o nevěrných labutích představují dokonalý úvod k debatě o některých velmi běžných lidských problémech. Konec konců, ať už jde o tereje modronohého, zrnokaza čínského nebo spousty dalších druhů, je toho mnoho, co nás mohou zvířata o lásce a vztazích naučit.

„Úžasné čtení. Ať už jste spíše z rodu promiskuitních a sexuálně nestřídmých berušek, nebo osamělého a po věrné lásce toužícího hraboše prériového, který hledá partnerku na celý život, v království divočiny Jennifer Verdolinové zcela jistě najdete svou zvířecí obdobu a navíc se u toho skvěle pobavíte.“

– Jesse Bering, PhD

„Divocí příbuzní je kniha, kterou si nemůže nechat ujít žádný zájemce o podrobný, vědecky podložený, čtivě a zábavně napsaný text o tom, co nám lidem mohou ptáci, včely a mnoho dalších živočichů prozradit o našich vlastních sexuálních rituálech… Z této přelomové knihy jsem se toho dozvěděl opravdu hodně.“

– Marc Bekoff, PhD.

Čím je jednotlivec atraktivní pro opačné pohlaví? Proč máme ve svých vztazích tendenci počítat a vést si účty? Záleží na velikosti? Je tělesná vůně důležitým ukazatelem vzájemné přitažlivosti? Proč se ji tedy my lidé snažíme zamaskovat mýdlem, deodoranty a různými parfémy? Ať už k tomu používáme cokoli, hlavním životním cílem je u většiny z nás snaha někoho si najít a vytvořit s ním úspěšný vztah. Proč jsou ale u lidí láska a milostné vztahy tak komplikované, zatímco zvířata s tím většinou nemají problém? Páry albatrosů královských se obvykle namlouvají i několik let. Tito ptáci instinktivně vědí, že náhodné známosti nejsou zrovna ideálním způsobem, jak najít spolehlivého partnera.

JENNIFER L. VERDOLINOVÁ se odborně věnuje studiu zvířat a zaměřuje se na různé projevy jejich společenského chování s důrazem na páření. Ve své vědecko-populární knize Divocí příbuzní. Co nám zvířecí námluvy a páření zvířat prozrazují o lidských vztazích srovnává rituály námluv, páření i sexuální a rodinný život zvířat s jejich lidskými protějšky.

Ošetřovatelé v zoo v Nebrasce s překvapením zjistili, že jejich samice žraloka kladivouna otěhotněla, přestože žádní samci široko daleko nebyli. Nejdřív se domnívali, že ještě sexuálně nedospělá samice se zřejmě pářila se samcem ještě před tím, než byla ulovena. Samice mnoha druhů jsou schopné uchovávat samčí pohlavní buňky po celá léta. Ale rychlý genetický test ukázal, že mláďata kladivounky byla přesnými replikami své matky. Byly to klony. Ať už máte ke kladivounům jakýkoli vztah, jejich vynalézavost je hodna našeho obdivu.
U lidí a všech ostatních savců se ale zdá, že sex je jediný způsob, jak nevyhynout. To nás přivádí k velmi zajímavému bodu úvah o lidech. Až na oplodnění in vitro potřebujeme sex, abychom se mohli množit. Vzhledem k tomu, že denně přivádíme na svět přes dvě stě tisíc miminek, obnáší to opravdu hodně sexu. Legrační je, že mnoho lidí to dělá, ale jen velmi málo z nich o tom mluví. A nemám teď na mysli ženy, které říkají, že muži myslí svou „jinou“ hlavou, nebo muže, kteří si stěžují, že nemohou říct ani slovo ze strachu, aby jim jejich přítelkyně nebo manželka neukously hlavu. Myslím skutečně otevřený, zdravý, pozitivní hovor o sexu a o rozdílech v pohlaví. A právě na to bych se chtěla v této knize zaměřit. Doufám, že pro všechny z vás, kdo jste vyrůstali s maminkou, která by v životě nedostala přes rty slovo penis, odkazovala na něj jen tajuplným „však-víte-co“ a sex vám vysvětlovala na motýlcích a včelkách, to bude osvěžující čtení.
Vraťme se ještě k těm bezhlavě zamilovaným. Lidé tento obrat používají jako metaforu, ale pokud jste kudlanka nábožná, pak by pro vás „ukousnutí“ hlavy roztouženým partnerem nebyla metafora, ale skutečný problém. Jde o mýtus, že všechny druhy samiček tohoto prapodivného hmyzu s hlavou mimozemšťana, jemuž říkáme kudlanka nábožná, žerou své partnery hlavou počínaje. Ale stává se to, zvláště když má samička hlad. Jak si jistě dokážete představit, samečci nejsou zrovna nadšeni představou, že budou samou láskou sežráni.
Kudlanky nábožné jsou poměrně nenasytní dravci, pro které je pohybující se cíl znamením, že chutné jídlo není daleko. Když se samice podívá ve směru přibližujícího se samce, sameček se zastaví a nehybně čeká, dokud samička neotočí hlavu na druhou stranu. Samička kudlanky nábožné ho pronásleduje s jediným cílem, a to ulovit a sežrat. Jakmile se samečkovi podaří dostat se k samičce natolik blízko, aby na ni mohl nasednout, postaví se tak, aby směřoval hlavou k jejímu zadečku. Může trvat až šestnáct minut, než se sameček otočí a pokusí se o pohlavní kontakt. Tato předehra je u samců kudlanek vedená snahou zvýšit šance na přežití.
Pokud sameček páření přežije, okamžitě se snaží co nejrychleji utéct a zachránit tím, že z ní sklouzne. Ani by ho nenapadlo zdržovat se v její blízkosti a riskovat život. Často se samečkům podaří kopulaci přežít, ale je to jen asi ve třiceti procentech. Jsou případy, kdy samice samci sice při pohlavním aktu hlavu ukousne, samce to však nikterak neodradí. Je i nadále pevně odhodlán akt dokončit a své geny předat. Je to proto, že když ho samička začne požírat od hlavy, hned na začátku mu ukousne podjícnovou nervovou zauzlinu, která řídí koordinační centrum pro kopulační pohyby. Sameček tak ztratí jakékoli zábrany, což mu umožní pokračovat v páření až k ejakulaci, a to i v době, kdy se samička prokousala nebezpečně blízko k jeho „však víte čemu“. Biologie je opravdu zvláštní.

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