Mating systems may be a mix of the following.
- Monogamy: one male mates with one female; many birds bond for life.
The sexes tend to be monomorphic.
- Polygamy can be subdivided into
The sexes tend to be dimorphic.
- Polygyny: one male with many females: an alpha elephant seal controls a harem of many females.
- Polyandry: one female with many males: a honeybee hive has one queen who mates with many males.
- Promiscuity: many male with many females: a chimpanzee may mate with several members of the opposite sex, and vice versa.
- What other system can you think of?
- Self-fertilization: many plants are hermaphrodites and can self-fertilize; but hermaphrodite animals such as slugs still need to find a mate.