Dancing with the Beasts

Ⓒ Jurgen Otto


Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the prettiest dancer of them all…?

Many animals dance or strut their stuff, very often in a kaleidoscope of colour. But why? And which animal is the greatest dancer of them all? TV’s prime time programming featuring shows like ‘Dancing with the Stars’ may look glitzy, but these shows and their contestants are nothing in comparison with what some animals get up to.

So who is the greatest dancer? This is a roll call of the most famous of the animal kingdom, ranging from mammals to the most likely winners of the contest – birds. Or… are they?

  • A chest-thumping Gorilla – sounds good, but a bit limited in the dance department. Also low marks for lack of colour. In fact, we mammals are ‘not really at the races’ when it comes to displays of dancing prowess.
  • Topi – not a lot better and another low score on footwork.
  • Humpback Whales – good songsters, but a bit heavy on their fins.

So let’s reject mammals.

What about insects?  They certainly display lots of colour, but are not the greatest dancers.

  • Cicadas – not even good songsters. Low score from the judges.
  • Stag Beetles – more of a fight than a dance – and with reason.

Reptiles – any real lounge lizards out there?

  • Caiman – have a good song, make a splash and have a few good moves, but not really a dance floor sensation.

Surely it must be birds?

  • There are Manakins and Birds of Paradise – great displays, lots of colour and flamboyant costumes. They are incredible, but, gasp, shock, they are not the winners!

No, just in the last few years the greatest dancers have been discovered – species new to science. It’s a big surprise… And the winners are… the Peacock Spiders.

They win in all categories: great costumes, strong sound effects, and great dance routines showing off fabulous colours and (8) long legs.

‘Dancing with the Beasts’ will be a film full of colour, drama and fun, depicting some of the most incredible animals on earth including the surprise winners we had not expected to be among the top runners for this cinematographic contest.