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Animals use courtship as a part of sexual reproduction.
Courtship behaviour is innate - it is genetically programmed, so all members of the same
species show exactly the same courtship behaviour, while members of different species
show different behaviours.
Courtship behaviour can be used to identify individuals as members of the same or
Reproduction is important to all organisms as it is the means by which a species can survive
Each individual tries to ensure that their DNA is passed on, through the reproductive
process, to the next generation.
The females of most species only produce eggs at specific times, often as little as once a
It is therefore important to ensure that mating is successful and that the offspring have the
maximum chance of survival.
Courtship behaviour helps to achieve this by enabling individuals to:
Recognise members of their To ensure that mating only takes place
own species between members of the same species
Only members of the same species can
produce fertile offspring
Identify a mate that is capable Both partners need to be sexually mature,
of breeding fertile and receptive to mating
Form a pair bond This will lead to successful mating and
raising of offspring
Synchronised mating Ensures maximum probability of the sperm
meeting the egg
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The females of many species undergo a cycle of sexual activity during which they can only
conceive during a very short time.
They are often only receptive to mating for a period around the time when they produce
Courtship behaviour is used by males to determine whether the female is receptive at this
If she responds with the appropriate behavioural response, courtship continues and is likely
to result in the production of offspring.…read more