Dec 28

With the end of 12fast approaching there will soon be celebrations taking place all around the world to see in the New Year. Here at ARKive we have been taking some inspiration from the animal kingdom in order to come up with five vital tips to ensure that you have a happy and enjoyable New Years Eve.

Go Easy on the Booze

Many of us will be indulging in a tipple or two over the holiday season. Obviously it is a good idea to stay within your limits and not to take a leaf (or bamboo shoot!) out of the Eastern gorilla’s book. Photographer Andy Rouse captured this picture of two merry Eastern gorillas in the mountains of Rwanda. It was found that they had been drinking the alcoholic sap from bamboo shoots. When the photographer retuned the next day the Gorillas were supposedly looking worse for wear with what we can only suspect was a primate hangover – what a pair of party animals!

Photo of silverback and blackback mountain gorillas playing, drunk on bamboo shoots

This pair of eastern gorillas have had a bit too much festive cheer...


Break out with dancing fever

New Years Eve is a chance to relax, let your hair down and strut your stuff on the dance floor. The courtship dance of the Antipodean albatross is a visual spectacle and involves classic moves like bowing, bill touching and head shaking. Despite busting out all these moves the male may have to perform this dance for several seasons before succeeding in finding a mate.

Photo of antipodean albatross pair performing courtship dance

Will these dance moves be enough to impress the female Antipodean albatross?


Be Careful with Fireworks

There is nothing like a few fireworks to get your New Years Eve kicking off with a bang. It may not be quite the display of lights and sounds that traditional fireworks are but the bombardier beetle has a defence similar to fireworks, at least in the sense that it is also an extreme exothermic reaction. When threatened, the bombardier beetle squirts a mixture of two chemicals from glands in the abdomen which react violently with each other and raise the temperature of the mixture to nearly 100 degrees Celsius. Enough to give any potential attacker a burn they will remember!

Photo of a bombardier beetle

It may look harmless now, but when threatened the fireworks start!


Remember your party trick

Grab yourself some attention and become the talk of the town by performing an interesting party trick for your fellow New Years Eve revellers. The male superb lyrebird’s party bit is impersonations. It has been know to imitate up to twenty other local birds such as the laughing kookaburra in order to make it’s song as complex as possible in the hope a female will be impressed enough to seek him out. Chainsaws and camera shutter imitations have also been incorporated into the songs of birds closer to the activities of humans.

Photo of superb lyrebird vocalising

Superb lyrebird vocalising


And finally – bring your best food dish

Bringing some homemade delights to a New Years Eve party is a sure way to start some conversations. The European bee-eater’s choice of party food may not be to all tastes however, unless you’re partial to dragonfly that is. Like many other birds male European bee-eaters will often offer the female caught prey items as a courtship gift to persuade her to mate.

Photo of a european bee-eater offering prey as a courtship gift
A european bee-eater offering prey as a courtship gift to the female

To all our supporters, contributors and users, the ARKive Team wishes you very Happy New Year!

George Bradford, ARKive Researcher