Mating

Mating

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In biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, mating is the pairing of opposite-sex
Sex
In biology, sex is a process of combining and mixing genetic traits, often resulting in the specialization of organisms into a male or female variety . Sexual reproduction involves combining specialized cells to form offspring that inherit traits from both parents...

 or hermaphroditic
Hermaphrodite
In biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism that has reproductive organs normally associated with both male and female sexes.Many taxonomic groups of animals do not have separate sexes. In these groups, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which both...

 organism
Organism
In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system . In at least some form, all organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homoeostasis as a stable whole.An organism may either be unicellular or, as in the case of humans, comprise...

s for copulation. In social animal
Social animal
A social animal is a loosely defined term for an organism that is highly interactive with other members of its species to the point of having a recognizable and distinct society.All mammals are social to the extent that mothers and offspring bond...

s, it also includes the raising of their offspring
Offspring
In biology, offspring is the product of reproduction, of a new organism produced by one or more parents.Collective offspring may be known as a brood or progeny in a more general way...

. Copulation is the union of the sex organ
Sex organ
A sex organ, or primary sexual characteristic, as narrowly defined, is any of the anatomical parts of the body which are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system in a complex organism; flowers are the reproductive organs of flowering plants, cones are the reproductive...

s of two sexually reproducing
Sexual reproduction
Sexual reproduction is the creation of a new organism by combining the genetic material of two organisms. There are two main processes during sexual reproduction; they are: meiosis, involving the halving of the number of chromosomes; and fertilization, involving the fusion of two gametes and the...

 animals for insemination
Insemination
Insemination is the deliberate introduction of sperm into the uterus of a mammal or the oviduct of an oviparous animal for the objective of impregnating a female for reproduction...

 and subsequent internal fertilization
Internal fertilization
In mammals, internal fertilization is done through copulation, which involves the insertion of the penis into the vagina. Some other higher vertebrate animals reproduce internally, but their fertilization is cloacal.The union of spermatozoa of the parent organism. At some point, the growing egg or...

. The two individuals may be of opposite sexes or hermaphroditic
Hermaphrodite
In biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism that has reproductive organs normally associated with both male and female sexes.Many taxonomic groups of animals do not have separate sexes. In these groups, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which both...

, as is the case with, for example, snail
Snail
Snail is a common name applied to most of the members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells in the adult stage. When the word is used in its most general sense, it includes sea snails, land snails and freshwater snails. The word snail without any qualifier is however more often...

s.

For animals, mating methods include random mating, disassortative mating, assortative mating
Assortative mating
Assortative mating , and the related concept Disassortative mating, is the phenomenon where a sexually reproducing organism chooses to mate with individuals that are similar or dissimilar to itself in some specific manner...

, or a mating pool
Mating pool
A mating pool is a concept used in evolutionary computation.Typically virtual populations are usually treated as a whole. An alternative approach is to separate only individuals who will produce offspring from the remainder of the current population. These are placed into a mating pool.Potential...

. In some birds, it includes such behaviours as nest
Nest
A nest is a place of refuge to hold an animal's eggs or provide a place to live or raise offspring. They are usually made of some organic material such as twigs, grass, and leaves; or may simply be a depression in the ground, or a hole in a tree, rock or building...

-building and feed
Nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

ing offspring. The human practice of mating domesticated
Domestication
Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

 animals and of artificially inseminating
Artificial insemination
Artificial insemination, or AI, is the process by which sperm is placed into the reproductive tract of a female for the purpose of impregnating the female by using means other than sexual intercourse or natural insemination...

 them is part of animal husbandry
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.- History :Animal husbandry has been practiced for thousands of years, since the first domestication of animals....

.

In animals


In some terrestrial
Terrestrial animal
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land , as compared with aquatic animals, which live predominantly or entirely in the water , or amphibians, which rely on a combination of aquatic and terrestrial habitats...

 arthropod
Arthropod
An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton , a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods are members of the phylum Arthropoda , and include the insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and others...

s, including insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s representing basal
Basal (phylogenetics)
In phylogenetics, a basal clade is the earliest clade to branch in a larger clade; it appears at the base of a cladogram.A basal group forms an outgroup to the rest of the clade, such as in the following example:...

 (primitive) phylogenetic clades, the male deposits spermatozoa
Spermatozoon
A spermatozoon is a motile sperm cell, or moving form of the haploid cell that is the male gamete. A spermatozoon joins an ovum to form a zygote...

 on the substrate, sometimes stored within a special structure. Courtship
Courtship display
Courtship display is a special, sometimes ritualised, set of behaviours which some animals perform as part of courtship. Courtship behaviours can include special calls, postures, and movements, and may involve special plumage, bright colours or other ornamentation. A good example is the 'dancing'...

 involves inducing the female to take up the sperm package into her genital opening without actual copulation. In groups such as dragonflies and many spider
Spider
Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms...

s, males extrude sperm into secondary copulatory structures removed from their genital opening, which are then used to inseminate the female (in dragonflies, it is a set of modified sternites on the second abdominal segment; in spiders, it is the male pedipalp
Pedipalp
Pedipalps , are the second pair of appendages of the prosoma in the subphylum Chelicerata. They are traditionally thought to be homologous with mandibles in Crustacea and insects, although more recent studies Pedipalps (commonly shortened to palps or palpi), are the second pair of appendages of the...

s). In advanced groups of insects, the male uses its aedeagus
Aedeagus
An aedeagus is a reproductive organ of male insects through which they secrete sperm from the testes during copulation with a female insect...

, a structure formed from the terminal segments of the abdomen, to deposit sperm directly (though sometimes in a capsule called a "spermatophore
Spermatophore
A spermatophore or sperm ampulla is a capsule or mass created by males of various animal species, containing spermatozoa and transferred in entirety to the female's ovipore during copulation...

") into the female's reproductive tract.

Other animals reproduce sexually with external fertilization, including many basal
Primitive (biology)
Primitive in the sense most relevant to phylogenetics means resembling the first living things and in particular resembling them in the simple nature of their anatomy and behaviour...

 vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s. Vertebrates (such as reptile
Reptile
Reptiles are members of a class of air-breathing, ectothermic vertebrates which are characterized by laying shelled eggs , and having skin covered in scales and/or scutes. They are tetrapods, either having four limbs or being descended from four-limbed ancestors...

s, some fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

, and most bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s) reproduce with internal fertilization through cloaca
Cloaca
In zoological anatomy, a cloaca is the posterior opening that serves as the only such opening for the intestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts of certain animal species...

l copulation (see also hemipenis
Hemipenis
A hemipenis is one of a pair of intromittent organs of male squamates .Hemipenes are usually held inverted, within the body, and are everted for reproduction via erectile tissue, much like that in the human penis. Only one is used at a time, and some evidence indicates males alternate use between...

), while mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s copulate vagina
Vagina
The vagina is a fibromuscular tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. Female insects and other invertebrates also have a vagina, which is the terminal part of the...

lly.

For some animals, copulation may or may not be related to reproduction; for example chimpanzee
Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of ape in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:...

s and especially bonobos are known to copulate when the female is not fertile, presumably for pleasure, which in turn strengthens social bonds. See also sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which a male's penis enters a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. The entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails...

 and human sexual behavior
Human sexual behavior
Human sexual activities or human sexual practices or human sexual behavior refers to the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts from time to time, and for a wide variety of reasons...

.

In plants and fungi


Like in animals, mating in other Eukaryotes, such as plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

s and fungi
Fungus
A fungus is a member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds , as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria...

, denotes sexual conjugation. However, in vascular plants this is mostly achieved without physical contact between mating individuals (see pollination
Pollination
Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilisation and sexual reproduction. Pollen grains transport the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself...

), and in some cases, e.g., in fungi no distinguishable male or female organs exist (see isogamy
Isogamy
Isogamy is a form of sexual reproduction that involves gametes of similar morphology , differing only in allele expression in one or more mating-type regions...

); however, mating type
Mating type
Mating types occur in eukaryotes that undergo sexual reproduction via isogamy. Since the gametes of different mating types look alike, they are often referred to by numbers, letters, or simply "+" and "-" instead of "male" and "female." Mating can only take place between different mating...

s in some fungal species are somewhat analogous to sexual dimorphism
Sexual dimorphism
Sexual dimorphism is a phenotypic difference between males and females of the same species. Examples of such differences include differences in morphology, ornamentation, and behavior.-Examples:-Ornamentation / coloration:...

 in animals, and determine whether or not two individual isolates can mate.

See also


  • Breeding in the wild
    Breeding in the wild
    Breeding in the wild is the natural process of animal reproduction occurring in the natural habitat of a given species. This terminology is distinct from animal husbandry or breeding of species in captivity...

  • Sexual intercourse
    Sexual intercourse
    Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which a male's penis enters a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. The entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails...


Taxa specific:
  • Canine reproduction
  • Dog breeding
    Dog breeding
    Dog breeding is the practice of mating selected specimens with the intent to maintain or produce specific qualities and characteristics.Dogs reproduce without human interference, so their offsprings' characteristics are determined by natural selection. Domestic dogs may be intentionally bred by...

  • Domestic sheep reproduction
    Domestic sheep reproduction
    As with other mammals, domestic sheep reproduction occurs sexually. Their reproductive strategy is very similar to other domestic herd animals. A flock of ewes is generally mated by a single ram, which has either been chosen by a farmer or has established dominance through physical contest with...

     
  • Horse breeding
    Horse breeding
    Horse breeding is reproduction in horses, and particularly the human-directed process of selective breeding of animals, particularly purebred horses of a given breed. Planned matings can be used to produce specifically desired characteristics in domesticated horses...

  • Traumatic insemination
    Traumatic insemination
    Traumatic insemination, also known as hypodermic insemination, is the mating practice in some species of invertebrates in which the male pierces the female's abdomen with his penis and injects his sperm through the wound into her abdominal cavity . The sperm diffuse through the female's hemolymph,...



General:
  • Animal husbandry
    Animal husbandry
    Animal husbandry is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.- History :Animal husbandry has been practiced for thousands of years, since the first domestication of animals....

  • Animal sexuality
    Animal sexuality
    Animal sexual behaviour takes many different forms, even within the same species. Among animals other than humans, researchers have observed monogamy, promiscuity, sex between species, sexual arousal from objects or places, sex apparently via duress or coercion, copulation with dead animals,...

  • Biological attraction
  • Bisexuality
    Bisexuality
    Bisexuality is sexual behavior or an orientation involving physical or romantic attraction to both males and females, especially with regard to men and women. It is one of the three main classifications of sexual orientation, along with a heterosexual and a homosexual orientation, all a part of the...

  • Evolution of sex
    Evolution of sex
    The evolution of sexual reproduction is currently described by several competing scientific hypotheses. All sexually reproducing organisms derive from a common ancestor which was a single celled eukaryotic species. Many protists reproduce sexually, as do the multicellular plants, animals, and fungi...

  • Heterosexuality
    Heterosexuality
    Heterosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the opposite sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, heterosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, physical or romantic attractions to persons of the opposite sex";...

  • Homosexuality
    Homosexuality
    Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

  • Lordosis behavior
    Lordosis behavior
    Lordosis behavior, or mammalian lordosis, is a sexual response in mammals, such as mice and cats, that consists of a ventral arching of the spine. During lordosis, the spine curves so that the apex points in the ventral direction. That is, the spine arches inward toward the abdomen.Lordosis aids in...

  • Mating system
    Mating system
    A mating system is a way in which a group is structured in relation to sexual behaviour. The precise meaning depends upon the context. With respect to higher animals, it specifies which males mate with which females, under which circumstances; recognised animal mating systems include monogamy,...

  • Reproduction
  • Sex determination system
  • Sexual arousal
    Sexual arousal
    Sexual arousal, or sexual excitement, is the arousal of sexual desire, during or in anticipation of sexual activity. Things that precipitate human sexual arousal are called erotic stimuli, or colloquially known as turn-ons. There are many potential stimuli, both physical or mental, which can cause...

  • Sexual conflict
    Sexual conflict
    Sexual conflict occurs when the two sexes have conflicting optimal fitness strategies concerning reproduction, particularly the mode and frequency of mating, leading to an evolutionary arms race between males and females. The conflict encompasses the actions and behaviors of both sexes to influence...



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