A lek is a gathering of males, of certain animal species, for the purposes of competitive mating display. Leks assemble before and during the breeding season, on a daily basis. The same group of males meet at a traditional place and take up the same individual positions on an arena, each occupying and defending a small territory or court. Intermittently or continuously, they spar individually with their neighbors or put on extravagant visual or aural displays (mating "dances" or gymnastics, plumage displays, vocal challenges, etc.).
The term derives from the Swedish lek, a noun which typically denotes pleasurable and less rule-bound games and activities ("play", as by children). Specifically, the etymology of the word "lek" is from 1871 and means to engage in courtship displays (of certain animals); probably from the Swedish att leka "to play". A strict hierarchy accords the most desirable top-ranking males the most prestigious central territory, with ungraded and lesser aspirants ranged outside. Females come to these arenas to choose mates when the males' hierarchy has become established, and preferentially mate with the dominants in the centre.
Other articles related to "lek mating, leks, lek, mating":
... In a few species (peacocks and the black grouse), leks are composed of brothers and half-brothers ... benefit by passing their genes on through attracting mates for their brothers (larger leks attract more females) ... Peacocks recognize and will lek with their brothers, even if they have never met before ...
... only species of flightless parrot in the world, and the only flightless bird that has a lek breeding system ... Females listen to the males as they display, or "lek" ... season, males leave their home ranges for hilltops and ridges where they establish their own mating courts ...
Famous quotes containing the word mating:
“Hes one of those know-it-all types that, if you flatter the wig off him, he chatter like a goony bird at mating time.”
—Michael Blankfort. Lewis Milestone. Johnson (Reginald Gardner)