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Giraffes and their mating rituals!

by Aadarsh Jain

Giraffes and their mating rituals!

May 20, 2021

We have seen many weird animal mating habits, but the mating habit we are going to tell you is just on another level. Did you know a male giraffe lick a female giraffe's urine — when she's peeing! - and see whether she's ready to have babies.

The male giraffe will approach the female and rub against her backside before she pees, which is known as the “Flehmen sequence.” He’ll taste it and see whether she’s in heat or not as she does. If she is, he will begin stalking her, with the female sometimes walking or running away from him. During this time, he will try to hold all males away from the female while he pursues her, which is also the source of the female’s rejection, as she tries to find a better male to take her place and fend off the current male.

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A male giraffe lick a female giraffe's urine when she's peeing and see whether she's ready to have babies.

The Flehmen Sequence

The flehmen response, also known as the flehmen posture, flehmen reflex, flehmen groan, flehming, or flehmening, is a behaviour in which an animal curls its upper lip back, revealing its front teeth, inhales through closed nostrils, and then maintains this position for several seconds. It can be done with the neck extended and the head raised up in the air, or it can be done over a sight or substance that the animal is really interested in. Flehmen is a behaviour that a variety of mammals engage in.

The Process

When battling over a mate, giraffes develop dominance by “necking” at high or low intensity. The low-intensity version of necking includes rubbing their necks against each other until each of them becomes exhausted and quits. They’ll wave their heads and necks at each other in high-intensity necking, aiming to land blows on the other giraffe. This sort of war will last up to a half hour before one of the parties decides to call it a day. Severe harm is rarely caused by any form of “battle.” In addition, the one with the longer neck almost always wins.

Following a necking contest, the males will often caress one another’s necks (which can be misinterpreted as fighting) and then have sex with one another, often reaching climax. In reality, it’s estimated that male giraffes have sex with another male giraffe 75 percent to 94 percent of the time. Female giraffes occasionally get in on the one-gender love, with around 1% of female giraffe sexual relationships happening between two females rather than a male/female pairing.

Female giraffes favour older males, typically about seven years old, even though males mature just four to five years after birth. Males, on the other hand, favour younger females, who reach sexual maturity about the age of four.

If a female is especially taken with a specific male, she may go so far as to rub her neck against him in an attempt to get him to rub her rump so she may pee in his mouth. If her urine is to his taste, she won’t play hard to get in these situations and will normally let him mount fairly easily.

Intercourse is exceedingly short, lasting just a few seconds at most until the female has stood still long enough for the male to climb, demonstrating once again that it’s not the size of the neck that matters, but how you use it.

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