In biology, mating is the pairing of opposite-sex or hermaphroditic organisms for copulation and, in social animals, also to raise their offspring. For animals, mating methods include random mating, disassortative mating, assortative mating, or a mating pool.
In some birds, for example, it includes nest-building and feeding offspring. The human practice of making domesticated animals mate and of artificially inseminating them is part of animal husbandry.
Copulation is the union of the sex organs of two sexually reproducing animals for insemination and subsequent internal fertilization. The two individuals may be of opposite sexes or hermaphroditic, as is the case with, for example, snails.