Mating in Animals

Essay by bipasab3High School, 12th gradeA, September 2014

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Did you know that the male porcupine showers a long string of urine on the female before mating and cichlid fish eggs are fertilised by the male while they're in the female's mouth? There are many different ways that animals behave when it comes to mating and reproduction. In the majority of species, including humans, males try to attract females through their talents, strength and attractiveness.

In many animal species, there is no male to male fighting where mating is a first come first served business*. However, in others there is competition between the males over who gets to court the female. Whoever wins the fight gets all the ladies*. When mating season starts, male elephant seals arrive on beaches to win territories and fight over authority over females. The biggest and most dominant male gains access to a group of females called a harem*. These harems consist of 30 to 100 females and the male mates with them all.

This is called intrasexual selection. In the meantime, the smaller male seals that didn't win a territory and don't have their own harem wait on the side and try to mate when the big seal isn't watching (shmoop, 2014).

There are several reasons why males must fight in order to win the females. One reason, as I said before is territory. In elephant seals, the females spend their time in their mate's territory so that she can rear her young in peace and not be harassed by other males trying to mate with her. This is also evident in penguins. Male penguins fight with each other so they can build a nest in their territory so that the female can lay the egg and he can safely look after it. Other animals that tend to behave in this fashion include...