Thursday, August 7, 2008
Courtship, copulation, and other sexual acts in the animal kingdom: just save the pink
With most species of fish, there is little or no contact between the male and female. The male merely deposits the sperm over the eggs after they’ve been released by the female. After the brief interlude, the lovers may go their separate ways, never to meet again.
When the female elephant comes into estrus, she selects a mate. This marks the beginning of a very close, affectionate relationship. At first, she’s very coy and flirtatious, alternately inviting the bull’s advances and then running away from him. During the courtship of several months, they’re inseparable. Playing touching, stroking, petting and mooing. The male displays remarkable restraint and only at the end of the long courtship – and only at the female’s invitation – does he consummate the relationship in copulation.
The rank or pecking order is of great importance to the raven. When a dominant female, high in the ranking order of the group, pairs with a submissive low-ranking male, she will adopt male behavior – even taking the superior position during copulation. In such a relationship, the male accepts the submissive role along with other female behavior patterns.
The male snake first rapdly flicks out his tongue while following the female around and attempting to crawl ove her. The courtship behavior in many snakes is controlled by pheromones, produced by a specialized gland on the female’s back. By her odor, he knows whether or not she is the correct mate. Instead of having single penis fro injection, the male has two, one on either side of the tail. They are both fully potent and barbed; however, he does not put in both penises simultaneously.
Before he can woo a female sparrow, a male sparrow must have a nest. It does not matter if the nest is straggly and untidy, for later the two mates can clean it up and make it more presentable. The important thing is that the male have some sort of nest. Females will have nothing to do with male sparrows without property.
The polecat places his paws on the female’s shoulder and bites her neck, inducing for fifteen minutes a condition of muscular paralysis.
The tiny male spider approaches his relatively huge mate and begins to couple. The female devours him in act of copulatory cannibalism. She chews away the head, leaving the rest of the male’s body sexually functional, so his sperm can pass into her body. The male tarantula has a pair of curved appendages on his front legs with which he holds open the female’s jaws so that she cannot snap at him during mating.
The female bat, after copulation, emits a loud squeal which, it has been suggested, acts as a signal to other females to choose the same male for a mate.