it's the closest thing to immortality and nature makes it a contest awarding mating rights to the strongest or the most talented or the best smelling or maybe just the one who gets there first.
animals will put themselves at risk for the chance to breed driven to devise their most seductive methods to survive the wild giraffes are so tall they can see into the future.
From their perspective above the savannah these living watchtowers often see danger first if they bulk so does everyone else but this time of year they've got more on their minds than lions and leaf heating.
In south africa's kruger national park it's giraffe mating season the recent rains have brought the landscape to life in this time of plenty the bull knows he stands the best chance to find a mate a young female catches his eye.
But he needs to be sure she's breeding material he's not too shy to check to see if she's in heat he nudges his head against her backside prodding her to urinate he can taste and smell if she's fertile this dough is good to go.
But she's no pushover so with the persistent bull glued to her backside she wanders through the herd to.
See if a more attractive suitor will step forward her strategy is working this fellow falls for her charms with two suitors on her tail she can.
Test which is the most worthy while she looks on the rival bulls face off they start slowly prodding each other if neither of them backs down the long-necked lotharios come out swinging.
among giraffes length matters their necks might have evolved as a weapon for these sexual contests so the shorter neck rival concedes.
The original bull has proven his valor now he can claim his prize while the courtship is complicated the mating takes only a few seconds but the whole ritual assures that the.
Strongest male in the herd gets to continue his bloodline from long-necked giants to tiny eight-legged lovers nature provides perfect pairings for some people the only thing more disturbing than spiders.
Is the thought of spiders having sex it happens more than anyone realizes at least six new species of peacock spiders weren't discovered until 2016. about the length of a grain of rice these amorous arachnids perform a dance that one of their lives depends on.
they live almost exclusively in australia in the unspoiled bushland of the blue mountains a peacock spider mating ritual begins.
This male is on the lookout for a mate he's more brightly colored than the hard-to-find female and he can't see very well despite his eight eyes still somehow he spots her and cautiously approaches she appears to welcome his advances.
he cautiously begins the quarter though the budding romance can quickly go pear-shaped during his love dance he'll fan the colorful extensions of his abdomen like the tail of a peacock some species also vibrate as they dance if the female doesn't like his act or.
Isn't interested in the first place she could end the show by eating him today he's in luck she's enjoying the performance encouraged he continues he might have to prove he's fit and worthy by dancing for almost an hour and all the while he needs to be ready.
To leap to safety should his audience change her mind the peacock spider's seductive dance has rarely been caught on camera the female will mate with only the best dancers because good dancing means good genes.
but even if he were gene kelly she still might devour him if she's just not in the mood but if he succeeds he'll have passed his talents to his heirs and that's the point after all.
While the male peacock spider performs his dance of love in another part of australia an even more stimulating mating ritual is underway it's not difficult to see why fruit bats are also called flying foxes bear the largest bats with the wingspan almost as wide as the bald eagles.
unlike their relatives that gobble insects or sit nectar fruit bats mainly eat fruit and while they might enjoy wrapping up fruit juice they also use their tongues in a provocative mating ritual.
in queensland australia in the jardine river national park the bats begin their ritual viewer discretion advised all winter flying foxes live in large single-sex colonies.
But come summer mating season all that changes swarming together in their thousands the bats have no shortage of potential mates in all the seeming confusion the males perform feats of aerial acrobatics to demonstrate their fitness to the females scent glands on the male's shoulders might bolster their sex appeal.
the female then picks out a suitably agile and musky male they settle into a relatively quiet roost within the trees to begin mating being bats they copulate upside down but before they get to that the male.
Performs an act unknown to almost any other mammal oral sex in some species of fruit fat the female returns the favor the saliva might disinfect against bacteria or chlamydia or the action may prolong the mating.
Time increasing the chance of fertilization when the male senses the female is ready to mate he moves behind and embraces her pinning her wings and biting her neck in about 20 seconds he's done and she goes off to look for another mate.
And another the easy part's done she'll delay her pregnancy until spring then finally give birth to a single pup which you have to carry around on her flights for six weeks until it can.
Manage on its own with only one baby a year and with male flying foxes not sexually mature until later in their 30-year lifespan these bats reproduce slowly despite their enthusiasm.
The forests of australia are ripe with mating strategies even drowsy koalas join in koalas eat nothing but slightly toxic hard to digest barely nutritional eucalyptus leaves so who would blame him for sleeping up to.
22 hours a day but when he's not eating or sleeping he's energized by his urge to mate for this young joey the breeding season means the time's coming to stop clinging to mum and start eating and sleeping on his own because mother will soon be pregnant again.
Northwest of sydney australia in the walamai national park the koala breeding season has arrived from august through february this fellow puts his solitary life on hold to find a mate relocating to a neighborhood with.
Eligible females is one of the few times he's motivated to leave the safety of the branches on the ground he's an easy target for dingos dogs or foxes so he's anxious to return to the trees as soon as he can.
as he climbs sent glands on his chest advertising to any females in the area while also spelling a warning for rival males to keep clear.
wow hidden in the trees he uses his voice to serenade interested females a recently discovered vocal organ lets him unleash a hiccup like bellow that announces his size and fitness.
Females aren't attracted just to the largest males with the loudest bellows for koalas size isn't everything the ladies enjoy variety from year to year homing in on the bellows of new males ensures genetic diversity the jewsy females reject more mates than.
They accept so he goes on a lot of bad dates resoundingly rejected by this female he retreats before he gets badly scratched cutting his losses he will wait for now.
Conserving his energy before seeking a more willing partner good maybe he'll find romance in the moonlight and so he has she invites him up.
koalas aren't monogamous but that doesn't mean she won't select hi
m again later in the season or next year but until then he'll have plenty of time to rest and get ready.
When koalas aren't mating they just want to be left alone and that's probably the only thing koalas have in common with tigers tigers the biggest of the big cats live solitary lives and when these predators meet it is typically for one of two reasons.
To fight or to mate in rajasthan northern india bengal tigers rule ruttenborn national park this restless female prowls the fringes of her territory she is on the hunt but not for game.
She's in a breeding mood she advertises for her position by spraying urine and scraping trees so males in neighboring territories can find her she punctuates her campaign of scratches and smells with urgent yelling surely that will bring the suitors.
female tigers routinely mark their turf but just before they begin easters they do it more frequently and the scent is different to tip off the males it works a male has caught a cent and seeks her out.
He crosses into her territory when the pair finally meet the female is naturally cautious he's considerably larger and she won't risk a fight but he makes his intention clear.
he caught her by following closely the act of mating makes her fertile so he'll keep at it over the next five or six days if a rival shows up in the meantime.
They'll fight her when she's ready to mate she lies down in front of him they touch whiskers and nibble at each other before he mounts her their short frequent matings ensure she conceives.
When the time comes the two part ways returning to their solitary lifestyles as the male heads back to his territory he remains vigilant for signs of other females you must be ready if the opportunity presents itself again while future tiger mums actively seek.
Their mates green sea turtles arrange a rendezvous sea turtles have plied the world's oceans for over a hundred billion years so they must know a thing or two about successful mating but that doesn't make it easy.
As the mating season approaches this male green sea turtle must swim up to 600 miles to find a partner off the coast of northeastern australia heron island within the great barrier reef is his annual destination weeks after he started his journey from as far away as indonesia he arrives.
the island is the ancestral nesting site for females who'll soon be arriving in a mating mood so he waits when the first female arrives he's quick to approach her.
They won't be alone for long soon enough his competition arrives while he holds tight they ram and bite his tail and flippers hoping to knock him off the female he's helpless to fend them off.
Using his claws and all his strength to monopolize his mate he clings on and endures the attacks until the female makes the break but it's not like he won't have other chances females outnumber males and they both aim to breed with as many.
Partners as possible still he wants to do the job right his penis can be almost half the length of his shell and he can cling to the female's back for up to 24 hours or until she decides she's had enough of him.
female green sea turtles can store sperm for months in the long passageways leading to their ovaries sperm from multiple males might compete in her oviducts ensuring genetic diversity.
Once the male's finished mating he makes his way back to the open waters for the female the test of endurance has just begun along with others she laboriously drags herself ashore on the same beach where she was born her strategy like her mother's before her is to safely bury her clutch of as.
Many as 200 fertilized eggs she returns to the water the eggs and hatchlings are on their own while male sea turtles will return to the island next year the egg-laying females won't be back for several years so they can regain their strength.
when it comes to long-distance romance sea turtles aren't the only ones who must cover a lot of ground possibly the world's most iconic butterfly the monarch or wanderer is famous for its striking pattern.
And its epic migration for many the odyssey begins near the united states border in canada's algonquin provincial park the end of one monarch generation marks the beginning of another as their butterfly parents die off new caterpillars emerge from eggs laid.
On the underside of milkweed leaves they come into the world ravenous over the next two weeks the caterpillars gorge themselves on milkweed their only food they'll grow almost three thousand times their original size.
At three weeks they enter the chrysalis stage and undergo one of the most dramatic transformations in the animal kingdom so at about week five it's the end of the world for the.
Chrysalis but the butterfly's life has just begun while the caterpillars were built to feed the butterflies are built to breed they live just a few weeks mating and laying eggs the cycle repeats several times until a.
Special generation emerges the migration generation migrating monarchs must preserve their species over the harsh winter months instead of mating they use their energy to take to the skies millions of them flock over 3000 miles to the warmer climes of mexico.
astonishingly while this generation has never been here before they arrive on the same grounds used by their great grandparents but this is no time to celebrate even in these warmer climes winter remains a threat and mating remains on hold.
massing together on tree branches the butterflies pool their body heat to protect each other from the elements but the weight of so many butterflies can tragically snap weaker branches causing casualties for those who make it through the winter.
Spring heralds a frenzy of breeding after mid-air courting the male takes the female to ground where he stays attached to her for up to several hours he deposits a nutritious capsule of sperm to fertilize her eggs and give her the stamina to lay them.
after mating they start on the homeward journey but these butterflies will not make it back worn out from their long migration and the ravages of winter they will lay eggs on route before dying.
Leaving it up to the next generation to continue the never-ending journey of their species while monarchs flutter across the new world in africa another colorful mob starts a new generation.
The salty alkaline waters of africa's volcanic lakes feed vast and rosy blooms of algae which in turn feed almost equally rosy flocks of hungry birds flamingos.
Thermal geasers provide spa-like conditions which only add to the appeal of the place but they haven't really come for the food and a warm soap the real reason for their gathering is about to become clear in kenya the salty waters of lake.
Bergoria are set to host one of the largest gatherings of flamingos in the world as the numbers of these elegant wading birds swell around the steaming geezers things are about to get even steamier it's mating time and looking good is a top priority for these famously fancy.
Birds they get their blush from pigments in the plankton they eat pink flamingos may be more popular than not so pink ones they gather by the hundreds of thousands like a massive singles bar each one looking to pair up.
then suddenly everyone hits the dance floor with males and females trying to impress each other with their funky moves classics include the head flag and the twist free so.
Oh eventually guys and girls pair up and find a quieter spot despite their penchant for huge crowds flamingos are thought to be monogamous all the couples will raise their chicks at the same time.
At the edge of the lake the mating pair will build a nurse together they'll both take care of their single egg mating simultaneously as their thousands
of neighbors helps guard the nest against predators.
As mating season draws to an end the flamingos return to feeding but rather than coloring their lustrous coats this time they regurgitate a liquid meal to feed their chicks in a few weeks when the chicks become independent the adults will separate and move on.
They won't return here until the algae blooms again you