Animal Courtship (Animal Behavior) by Krista West

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By Krista West

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In most cases, echinoderms release their eggs and sperm directly into the surrounding waters and allow fertilization to happen outside of the body. Courtship is not crucial because males and females do not choose mates. They release eggs and sperm when they are ready, regardless of other animals in the area. Yet, in some cases, such as the courtship of the sea cucumber, there appears to be a little more happening. Sea cucumbers have long, leathery, cucumber-like bodies. They scavenge the seafloor for food.

Female zebra mussels release about 40,000 eggs at a time. sea stars release many more: about 50 mil- Fish and shellfish courtship 49 shell, moves slowly in deep water, and does not change color. It is believed that the nautilus hasn’t changed much in many millions of years. Nautilus courtship is not well understood. BivAlve courtship The bivalves include scallops, clams, oysters, and mussels. None have heads, arms, or legs. Most adult bivalves never move; they attach themselves to hard surfaces under water, or bury themselves in dirt.

The more colorful male mallard (left ( left left)) looks very different than the female mallard.

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