31 de Março de 2022 / Preservation
Is spring synonymous with breeding?

Ler em português  

March marks the beginning of spring in regions where the four seasons are well defined. This is a season usually associated with breeding. But is there really a connection between this time of year and the birth of new offspring? 

The truth is that in nature nothing happens by chance and we see that species develop behaviors in response to their environment. At the Lisbon Zoo we can see that in these days the animals present visitors with curious mating behaviors that, depending on the species, may involve vocalizations, dances, the segregation of smells or even fights. Also, as a response to the need for reproduction, in the male peacocks we observe the growth of a long and colorful tail, which they display in order to impress the females. Deer, on the other hand, grow antlers, which are not only meant to impress, but also to allow dominance fights between males. Since their purpose is reproduction, later on, both the peacocks' tail feathers and the deer's antlers eventually fall off, reappearing the following year. 

But why in spring?  

Very simple: because this is a very productive season. The forests fill up with food, and this abundance ensures, for example, that the mammal' mothers are able to produce the milk needed to feed their young. In addition to this factor, the whole survival process is facilitated, since both the females and the young do not have to overcome challenging climates and low temperatures to survive. 

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