(redirected from copulations)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.


The sexual union of two individuals, resulting in insemination or deposition of the male gametes in proximity to the female gametes.



(1) The union of two individuals in sexual intercourse.

(2) The process of the syngamy of two sex cells (gametes). Copulation is usually understood to mean the syngamy of sex cells that are externally almost or completely indistinguishable. If the male gamete differs sharply from the female, the process of their syngamy is called fertilization.

References in periodicals archive ?
Twenty-one other copulations by 11 pairs were observed from 1999-2009 during routine flock monitoring.
These animals are "simultaneous hermaphrodites," meaning each performs both the "male role" of donating sperm to a mating partner and the "female role" of receiving sperm from the partner simultaneously during copulation.
Mechanisms that operate before copulation may lead to traits such as weaponry, dimorphism in size, increased ability to find a receptive female, increased endurance, conspicuous ornaments, and behavioral signals (Andersson, 1994).
The frequency of copulation also varies among families and species.
If the brief copulations with surviving males are not sufficient to allow sperm transfer, what appears to be post-mating cannibalism will be classified more appropriately as pre-mating cannibalism.
agrestis we created a hypothesis framework, and tested it in single mating experiments where the copulations were interrupted to ensure predefined duration.
Both copulations lasted nearly 2 min, and during penetration, the male performed intense leg tapping on the dorsum of the female using his first pair of legs, and simultaneously on the female's hind legs and venter using his second pair of legs.
This hypothesis predicts males should remain close to females during the times when copulations are more likely to occur (Birkhead and Moller 1992).
During copulation these males are known to sever their own genitals in an attempt to plug the female, thereby gaining paternity advantage by preventing other males from mating with her.
The objectives of our study were to (1) assess the roles of behavioral, territorial, and morphological characteristics for Lesser Prairie-Chicken mate choice, (2) report dates of peak female attendance and copulations, and (3) assess the extent of mating skew on prairie-chicken leks.