The key difference between mating and breeding is that mating is the process where two individuals of opposite sex unite for sexual intercourse while breeding is a more complex process where two individuals of the mating pair reproduce to create offspring.
Reproduction of animals is an important process for their survival. Animals show various adaptations during reproduction. Mating and breeding are two types of reproduction modes based on their behavioural patterns. Mating is a natural process that does not always occur with the intention of producing offspring. However, the breeding always expects offspring at the end of the process. Hence, breeding is a more planned process, unlike mating. Nevertheless, both mating and breeding are sexual reproduction methods that occur between two individuals.
What is Mating?
Mating is the union of two individuals of opposite sex. The mating process of animals depends on their social behaviour. Mating takes place randomly. During a lifetime of an organism, mating can take place either with one partner or with multiple partners.
Based on this concept, there are two mating systems namely Monogamy and Polygamy. In monogamous mating, the individual will only have one mating partner. In contrast, during polygamous mating, the individual may have more than one mating partners.
Hence, mating takes place between reproductively active males and females. Thus, the individuals must be well matured for mating to take place.
What is Breeding?
Breeding is a complex process where two organisms sexually reproduce to produce offspring, and the two organisms are involved in nurturing the offspring. Breeding is a planned process and can be manipulated. It depends on environmental conditions, social behaviour and the biological behaviour of the organisms. Mating is only a part of the breeding process.
During breeding, the parent and the offspring population are present. Thus, breeding is an interaction between the parents and the offspring. Breeding also involves the growth and development processes of the offspring. Moreover, breeding allows nurturing of the offspring until they are able to live their own life.
What are the Similarities Between Mating and Breeding?
- Mating and breeding involve a male and a female individual.
- Both processes are important for the survival of the species.
- Further, both processes are essential in the reproductive biology of organisms.
- Besides, both mating and breeding depend on the social and gender behaviour of the organisms.
- Moreover, both processes involve the participation of reproductively active males and females.
What is the Difference Between Mating and Breeding?
Mating is a natural process that occurs when animals come together and reproduce. On the other hand, breeding is a complex process that occurs purposely when the animal is specifically chosen by humans to create a special offspring. Therefore, this is the key difference between mating and breeding. That is; mating does not expect an offspring all the time while breeding is done with the intention of obtaining an offspring.
Furthermore, mating is a random process while breeding is not. Hence, it is another difference between mating and breeding. Most importantly, mating does not perform to obtain a particular trait while bleeding is associated with the obtaining a particularly important trait in offspring.
The below infographic presents more details on the difference between mating and breeding.
Summary – Mating vs Breeding
Mating and breeding are essential for the survival of a species. Therefore, both the concepts play an important role in population biology. Mating is the process of sexual union between a male and female. It is a random process. In contrast, breeding involves sexual reproduction to produce offspring. Breeding is well planned and depends on the social behaviour and maturity of the organisms. Therefore, this is the difference between mating and breeding.
1. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Breeding.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 21 Sept. 2010. Available here
2. “Mating.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Dec. 2018. Available here