Courtship


Courtship amongst animals is a varied practice. On the one hand it could be very simple with the animal only being required to make physical contact to secure his mate. Or it could be a far more complicated affair relying on a mixture of communication signals. These may include displays of beauty or aggression, chemical cues, and vocalisations. Here are a few examples from the species featured on Fascinating Africa.

Is the behaviour which some animals demonstrate to attract a mate. The desired result being mating and eventually reproduction. Such behaviour is usually started by the male with the female either accepting or rejecting him. Mutual courtship displays are sometimes performed by monogamous animals as a way of strengthening the bond between them.

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The male ostrich’s mating dance, known as “kantling”, is quite spectacular. They will approach the female with feathers raised before dropping to their knees and rocking from side to side as he waves his wings and twists his neck.

A male scorpion will initiate a mating dance by griping her pincers with his own. This enables him to move her around an area for between 30 and 60 minutes so that he can manoeuvre her over a capsule of sperm. Once she is in position he will drop her on to it so that her weight releases the sperm into her genital opening.

When elephants are courting they may caress one another and intertwine their trunks.

A male leopard tortoise will court the female by ramming her. However, once mated he will lose interest and be on his way.

Courtship in white rhinos is a long drawn out affair with the prelude to mating lasting 14 to 20 days followed by 2 to 6 days spent together after the one off copulation.

The venom of scorpions contain different neurotoxins which perform different functions. Some are even used to immobilize a mate during courtship.