Why do birds and animals only mate at certain times unlike the human animal?
How do they know when to breed although each differ?
The survival of their young depends on the timing of when the parents mate. Most birds and animals are born during the spring, where they stand a greater chance of enduring than if they were born in the harsh winter.
Hormones and animal instincts will drive this behavior.
Animals have a shorter life cycle than humans, so they will come into adolescence much faster and therefore will mate more when they are fully developed.
ArtzGirl stated it well, animals are hardwired to give birth when the offspring have the best chance for survival.
The human animal has learned how to ensure ample shelter and food year-round. Plus, we figured out that it's a pretty swell recreational activity.
Humans are much more complex organisms than the rest of the animal kingdom. I agree with glenn that animals consider what will be the best time of survival for their young ones and their breeding habits are channelled accordingly. But this is how their mind is naturally networked to behave.
Human psychology is shaped by many other factors. We behaviour is this regards is learned and adapted by many other things. Chimpanzees are the only other animals (besides humans) that even indulge in sex activities to overcome their stress.
But animals also represent many other trends, other than the obvious survival inclined approach. Some animals breed many times each year. This ensures the likelihood of at least some of their offspring to reach maturity.
I think nature programmes animals and birds to only mate at certain times - probably for survival reasons, of not only the adults but the young in particular. If you look at when many of the young are born, it always coincides with a time when their particular food is abundant and not scarce, so giving them the best chance to survive.
Nature gives us our 'instincts' and hormone triggers as well. These will tell an animal when to look for a mate. Pheremones and the 'perfume' that these create make the male very attractive to the female and the female very attractive to the male. All these instincts and triggers are very finely tuned to each individual species who are programmed - genetically probably - to respond in a certain way to certain events.
Humans are unique in that we have created our own environment to be safe all year round. Therefore we no longer have any need to 'mate' at specific times to ensure the best surivival rate. Basically we can please ourselves.
Not all animals have a specific time for breeding. Many warm-climate mammals like lions and axis deer are able to breed year round, and the rate of production is based solely on each individual females' cycles in the same way that it is with humans. I believe that this promotes the theory that humans were originally a warm-climate species until greater migrations took place...
As for those that do only breed annually, biological chemical hormones stirred up in response to environmental changes (higher humidity, warmer weather, longer days, etc) induce the release of pheromones by both males and females. This subtle "scent" allows animals to locate one another, and awakens their primal urges, so to speak. The call of the wild and all that
As others before me have said, animals were designed to mate during peak times of the year when rearing would be most successful, usually in the winter or early spring so as to produce offspring when warmer summer weathers bring an influx of vegetation, insects, and prey.
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