Wild Connection by Jennifer L. Verdolin (book review).

The title of Jennifer Verodolin’s book ‘Wild Connection’ makes more sense with its sub-title, ‘What Animal Courtship And Mating Tell Us About Human Relationships’. So, nothing about being feral then. Instead it is things you think are singularly human about dating and such is a tradition carried on from other members of the animal kingdom. Invariably, throughout this book, Verodolin and her friends attempts at finding companions to how animals make their decisions and it looks like mankind hasn’t quite got it right. From what she writes here, it can be a variation in height, taller people are seen as being more protective to levels of attractiveness and personality. The last two being seen under American eyes as the means to success. Also pay attention to the lumbal ring, that’s the dark ring around the iris of the eyes. It gets thinner with age but a thick ring is subliminally seen as being a sign of how healthy you are and, subliminally, you will realise this. Considering my own medical problems, my lumbal rings are still thick and dark so I suspect is has a lot more to do with certain kinds of illnesses than all of them.


If you thought only our species could be dishonest, Verodolin pulls out a lot of examples of how the males of various species use a variety of tricks to attract a mate, even when they already have one. If infidelity is so rife, I have to ask myself why it isn’t more of a genetic trait than it is. She also points out that those of you using old pictures of yourselves on Internet dating services have only yourselves to blame if you don’t represent yourselves correctly should you ever meet and get the big turn-off. Then again, who wants to date a green monkey?

The size of the male sex organ also doesn’t have much to say about attractiveness. From what Verodolin says, it is the ratio of size to height or length of an animal that is important and makes barnacles and Argentian lake ducks some of the most well endowed. Speaking of size, Verodolin discusses Napoleon and, as she wisely points out, he was of average height for that time period and extremely smart. One thing she misses, though, is that I suspect it was his enemies who made fun of his height to downplay their own inadequacies and to jibe at him.

The chapter on female fidelity and looking for the ideal mate stretches across the animal kingdom. In some respects, I wish Verodolin had actually pointed out as a contrast why some species stay loyal as pairs. However, infidelity appears to be rife. If you thought cross-species attraction was something limited to ‘Star Trek’, there are some animals who must be blind in that regard. When it comes to infidelity, Verodolin points out both sexes are as bad as each other and few get caught out when looking for the right breeding stock. I suspect this has more to do with the American population and that it varies from country to country.

I like her point about why couples apparently can’t hear or pay attention to each other when they talk. It’s all to do with the deepness of your voice. So, ladies, if you want your nearest and dearest to pay attention, talk a little more deeply. If nothing else, it’ll scare them a little but they will listen. Likewise, if you literally want to remain in harmony with your mate, have a sing-song because it strengthens your emotional bonds. Hopefully, you folk are all in tune.

‘Wild Connections’ is a fascinating book exploring relationship and mating behaviour patterns. Although from above, I don’t necessarily agree with all she says, Verodolin certainly knocks some myths on the head. I do think, though, that there is too much emphasis on American behaviour than other countries so don’t think these things are absolute for everyone. However, if you recognise anything that applies to your own relationships then you might learn something to make yourself presentable and if it makes everyone happy, then you can credit this book. Whether other members of the animal kingdom can read or not, you’ll have to see when you lend them your copy.

GF Willmetts

June 2014

(pub: Prometheus Books. 296 page enlarged paperback. Price: $18.95 (US), $20.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-61614-946-8. Ebook: $11.99. ISBN: 978-1-61614-947-5)

check out websites: www.prometheusbooks.com and www.centerforgreatapes.org

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