How Do Rhinos Mate?


Quick Answer

When a female rhino has accepted and is ready to mate a male, she will raise her tail and the male will mount her. The copulation can last up to one hour.

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Full Answer

Rhinoceros females attain sexual maturity as young as 3 years old, whereas males mature slower, not reaching sexual maturity until 8 years old. Mating rituals will begin one to two weeks before mating. Males will being to follow females around, and even while sleeping, the male and female will be in contact with each other. This act helps the female to become acclimated to the male's scent. If a lesser male rhinoceros tries to infringe upon the female that another is courting, then the male can become violent, fighting the opposing male with his sharp incisor teeth and clashing their horns.

Directly before mating, male rhinos will walk stiff-legged and brush their horns on the ground in front of the female. The male will attempt to mount the female several times before she will finally accept the copulation. Until she accepts, she will charge at or attack the male. If conception in not achieved after the copulation, the female will return to a state of heat within 35 days.

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