Mating In Animals Essay

1054 words - 4 pages

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 lions, gorillas and kangaroos.Another reason males fight with each other is dominance. In order to ensure the best offspring are produced, the best, or the "fittest" father, in terms of genes must be chosen. Some species, like elephants, don't maintain territories but they fight to maintain a dominant hierarchy. These dominant male bull elephants can mate without being harassed by others of a lesser rank. Females choose to mate with the dominant males for the same reason (shmoop, 2014). Humans tend to do this too. We tend to choose partners who they think they can rely on to care for and protect them and their family. Although we may not usually physically fight to win someone over, we still try to find someone with stable conditions and reliable resources.On the other hand, intersexual selection is where the female chooses a mate based on certain ornaments, or physical appearances. A study revealed that 86.4% of the time peahens mated with peacocks that had the largest tail. The Fischer's Runaway Process is a method which explains the reasoning for selection and development of male ornaments. This states that males have a gene which regulates the ornament, while females carry a gene which makes them find the male ornament appealing. Peahens will usually choose mates that have a tail length...

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