Is one part of the day more prevalent then other when it comes to mammal animals mating? Is there an aggregating study that has been done to see if these living beings in nature mate mostly during day or night?

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    $\begingroup$ I think this is too vague as written. I think we need a more specific group than "animals." $\endgroup$ – kmm Feb 16 '12 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ ^ Agree with above. Also, perhaps consider editing the title to read "At what time of day does (inset species name) mate?" $\endgroup$ – LanceLafontaine Feb 16 '12 at 2:03
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks guys. I am mostly interested in mammals since we can, I guess, consider them most advanced. I've fixed the question title and content to be more specific. $\endgroup$ – Maxim V. Pavlov Feb 16 '12 at 7:39
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know the answer, but I can help you to restrict your research. With the exception of humans and bonobos that have sex for recreational purposes, all the mammals mate during the estrus. In particular, the female will only allow the male to mate during a restricted time coinciding with ovulation. So if some aggregating study has been done regarding the ovulation, you have your answer. $\endgroup$ – Gianpaolo R Feb 16 '12 at 12:26
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    $\begingroup$ Some mammals, including mice, are nocturnal (see a wikipedia list). I know for sure that mice mostly mate during the night (I work with them). $\endgroup$ – Gianpaolo R Feb 16 '12 at 14:32

Why would it evolve?

No research (that I can find) is consistent with specific time of day mating across many species. I can't think of any reason why even just a few quite different mammals (e.g. mice, bats, lions, whales, and humans) would all find a fitness benefit of mating at the same specific time of day and therefore it is highly unlikely to evolve. I would suggest that if there are consistent patterns they are no reason other than coincidence (correlation over causality).

For example, dawn and dusk peaks in activity...

I have no references to back this idea up but lets see how this goes. The majority of mammals will be awake around dawn and dusk because there is likely an over lap between nocturnal and diurnal species at these times. Given that mating (normally) requires the participants to be awake then this would be a time when more animals are awake it is therefore a more likely time for mating to occur. But, as I already mentioned it would purely be because of the increased numbers awake.

Simple statistical illustration of the dawn & dusk idea...

Imagine a raffle with 2000 winning tickets. You buy 1000 and put 500 hundred of these in a box called nocturnal and the other 500 go in a box called diurnal. The raffle is drawn 24 times (perhaps every hour). The first 14 times it is drawn you can win if the ticket is from the nocturnal box, the latter 14 times you can instead check the diurnal box. This means during the first 10 draws you have a 25% chance of winning, and likewise in the latter 10 hours, but in the middle 4 hours there is a 50% chance every draw.

This comes down to a simple statistical phenomenon, if you don't buy a ticket you can't win the raffle.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. My idea was to check if there is a corelation between the phases of a Sun (the intensity of light around during different times of the day) and mamal mating activity. $\endgroup$ – Maxim V. Pavlov Nov 14 '12 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ It could be done but choosing which mammals to test would be difficult, they vary substantially in their habitat & behaviour. To get a representative sample of the thousands of different species you would have to sample many of species (from different Orders & Families (biological classification)). It is an infeasible study to do first hand. You could compile data that exists which has been done on single species and conduct a meta-analysis. Again you would have to make sure you capture as much of the behavioural variation as possible. If this answers your question please could you accept it. $\endgroup$ – rg255 Nov 14 '12 at 9:22
  • $\begingroup$ also if it does not answer your question then please explain why and maybe I can still answer it $\endgroup$ – rg255 Nov 14 '12 at 10:43

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