Zoologists have reported that female giraffes urinate on the muzzle of males before mating.
Biologists have studied mating behavior in giraffes. This is reported by the University of California at Davis.
Most animal species have an adopted signaling system that tells potential mates that they are ready to breed. It can be both sounds (like in birds), and smells (like in dogs), as well as complex complexes of rituals. However, for a long time, scientists were poorly aware of how giraffes give mating signals. They don’t have a set breeding season, they don’t go into heat like dogs or cats do. They do not make special sounds and do not give noticeable visual signals of readiness for mating.
Now American zoologists have published an article in Animals magazine , where they also described this process. Males first provoke females to urinate by prodding them and sniffing their genitals. If the female is open to mating, she spreads her hooves and urinates for about 5 seconds while the male takes the urine into his mouth. Then he twists his lip, inhaling with his mouth open – this is called flehmen, during which the smell of the female and pheromones from his oral cavity are transferred to the vomeronasal organ.
While flehmen is common in many animals, including horses and cats, most mammals wait for urine to be on the ground to examine it. However, the giraffe is not anatomically adapted for such activities.
“They don’t risk leaning towards the ground because of their extremely long necks,” said Lynette Hart, study leader. “So they have to push the female, basically saying, ‘Please urinate now.’
If the female does not do this or the pheromones for some reason do not suit the male, mating will not begin.