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Animal activity that results in mating and reproduction. Courtship may simply involve a few chemical, visual, or auditory stimuli, or it may be a highly complex series of acts by two or more individuals using several modes of communication. Females of some insect species use pheromones to attract males from a distance. Painted turtles court by touch, and the courtship songs of frogs are heard on spring nights across much of the world. Certain bird species have complex courtship patterns. Courtship is important as an isolating mechanism to prevent different species from interbreeding, and elaborate courtship rituals help strengthen pair bonds that may last through the raising of the young or longer. See alsodisplay behaviour.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on courtship behaviour, visit Britannica.com.
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