Song of Songs 2:13
"The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away."
In many ways, lobster interaction seems almost human. Lobsters' mating ritual seems, by human standards, to be especially touching.
The ritual sequence begins when a female who is ready to mate lingers near the shelter of a male. The male responds by fanning his swimmerets, the four pairs of paddles beneath his tail. At this point communication is taking place through chemical signals each is releasing into the water. If he is a clawed lobster, he will show her his claws. After a couple of days of this, she enters his shelter, where more chemical signals are traded. This is followed by a sort of ritualized boxing sequence, where claws become boxing gloves. This goes on for several days as she spends increasingly more time in the male's shelter.
When she is ready to mate, she will lift her claws above the male's head in an action biologists call "knighting." Her body then shrinks as she sheds her shell. At first, the shell-less female's body is as soft as a jellyfish, and she cannot even stand up. Mating must take place very tenderly, for the male with his sharp shell could severely damage the unprotected female. After mating, the male will protect the female for up to a week until she grows a new shell.
We tend to recognize the tenderness and affection in the lobsters' mating ritual, despite the fact that these creatures are so different from us, because we both have the same Creator Who is Himself the source of all tenderness and affection.
Notes: Ravven, Wallace. 1987. "Lobster Lust: Don Juans of the Deep." Discover, Dec., p. 34.
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