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Penguins

How do penguins mate?

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July 24, 2011 1:00AM

Penguin Mating

Mating only lasts for 10 to 60 seconds long in some penguins. Penguins are very efficient at mating. The only most important thing in a penguin's life is mating. In fact they only think about mating, mating, mating and to sound even more interesting, mating. Sometimes penguins mate for fun because they like it and they're obsessed about it. It is said that penguins mate for pleasure and pair bonding. When you see a penguin mating it means it's happy.

When mating begins, the male will approach a female from behind and begin to vibrate his wings against the female's back and neck. This male behavior is called social wing vibration or flipper patting and it occurs when a male attempts to mate with a female. That encourages the female to lie down. Then the male will mount the female from above and behind, then the female raises her tail and exposes her cloaca. Her tail leans to the side. Then the male will lower and wag his tail (he wiggles his tail possibly to assist sperm transfer). He finally brings his cloaca into proximity. His cloaca will touch the female's cloaca. They press their cloacae together and this is known as 'The Cloaca Kiss' and it is wet and warm. In order to stay on the female, the male will gently grip her neck with his vibrating beak. Then the male remains relatively motionless for several seconds as sperm transfer takes place. (As they do this, thousands of tiny sperms escape from the male penguin's cloaca and enters the female penguin's cloaca. These sperms will travel up the oviduct to fertilize the eggs that the female has. Only the strongest sperm will survive). After the male hits his target, he raises his tail and his cloaca slips back into his body slowly. The female too slips her cloaca back into her body slowly. Then the male will lie on the female and rest for awhile and then soon he will jump off the female's back. Then the female lowers her tail. Mating is not that easy for penguins. It's more of a beautiful, delicate balancing act. Out of 70% of male penguins fall off when mating with females, which is why they must copulate so often. In some mating attempts, males often fall off the female more than three times. Others accomplished their goal just fine. When mounting, the female lays flat on the ground with her flippers out to the side and head raised. The male then climbs on her back. She will have to hold as still as possible so the male won't fall off. If a male is trying to mate with a female and she is unwilling, then she will stand up and the male will fall off her back.