Bowerbirds' use of self-expression, as opposed to inherited physical traits, to make themselves more appealing to the opposite sex is something humans can relate to.
"The bowerbird fascinates people because it exhibits behaviors reminiscent of what we do to advertise ourselves and attract mates," says biologist Melinda Pruett-Jones. "The bowerbird can extend what nature gave it by using secondary sex characteristics the way young men wear special clothing and drive fancy cars to attract girls."
But not all of Nature's decorators get creative to make themselves seem more attractive. A recently discovered spider, found in the Peruvian Amazon, has developed the remarkable instinct to decorate its web with a life-like decoy spider more menacing than itself.
Researchers believe that the small arachnid, measuring just five millimeters long, uses small bits of debris to design these larger eight-legged lookalikes as a way of giving would-be predators the idea that their web is occupied by a less easy target.