JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mating African elephants (Loxodonta africana). African elephants undergo a complex courting display before copulation, intertwining their trunks and performing a ritualised walk, the male (bull) following the female (cow). As they walk the cow presents her hind region to the bull, dropping to her knees and lifting her tail. He responds by touching her vagina with his trunk. After several bouts of walking, the bull mounts her, inserting his penis for just a few seconds. A single baby is born after 22 months. The African elephant is found throughout sub-saharan Africa (except in the south), in semi-desert to forest habitats. Photographed in Kenya.
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