The Fever

THE CROODS

“In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”

Written in 1919 by Alfred Lord Tennyson, no truer words have ever been spoken. Ever wonder why this was so, though? I’ve got two words for you; seasonal breeding.

Once upon a time, we were a species that bred only at certain times of the year. That time of year allowed for the survival of infants in terms of factors such as climatic temperature, availability of food and water, and even when predators were more than likely to be hanging around the lair. The male species only came a-courtin’ during this ‘mating season’ and females would have nothing to do with their advances outside this period. And speaking of periods, female seasonal breeders would have one or more menstrual cycles only when “in season” when she would be fertile for mating. Of course males were part of the cyclical behaviour also.  They exhibited changes in testosterone levels, their testes gained in weight and size (omg!) and their sperm would become super potent within that time of year. And what time of year was that?  You guessed it, Springtime!  The time when we dug out from our winter hibernation to find that Gaia had renewed, replenished and rejuvenated herself, budding with food, running with fresh water, bringing warmth from the Sun and creating in our souls the ravishing need to mate and procreate before the big chill set in, once again.

Ah, Mother Nature. She does so much to keep us propagating, we really should appreciate her a lot more than we do.

And although we are no longer, for the most part anyway, the one-track-minded-baby-making-machines we once were (we’ve actually evolved first as “opportunistic breeders”, who mated whenever the conditions of the environment were right and then further into what physiologist call the “continuous breeders“, which is what we are today and subsequently where a lot of our morality troubles started!) what becomes DNA, stays DNA for a long , long time and takes millions of years to come out in the wash. So for us modern-day Cro-Magnon, springtime will always bring with it that primitive longing for someone to hold and make new life with. We just call it “Love” now.

Hope I haven’t ruined all the romance for you. Happy Easter & Springtime everyone! 

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Amy Conton is a freelance writer and graphic designer living in New York, USA.

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