Ghyllian reproduction

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Also known as the "graphorn with two tusks", Ghyllian "courtship", as it has sometimes been called, starts with the male of the species advertising his readiness to mate. Quite often the male will start his display with preening of various kinds. A common strategy is to bathe. This is usually followed by brightly colored displays of both clothing and other "plumage", including, but not limited to: bright, shiny jewelry worn on the hands, in ears and hair; a finely sculpted coiffure, which sometimes includes not only hair on the top of the head, but also facial, chest and back hair; a particularly fine and expensive conveyance, either riding beast or carriage. When these measures are not apparently achieving the desired result, the male of the species has been known to apply artificial fragrance to his body with the hope of luring a potential mate within range. The truly desperate may resort to cologne "enhanced" with the musk glands of a wild graphorn, though the effectiveness of such ploys are debatable.

If the female has been attracted within striking distance and has shown any weakness at all, a rather deplorable display of wealth and economic viability by the male of the species commences. This, of course, is followed by complete indifference on the part of the female. Now, the fun really starts. At this juncture, the male, sensing the underlying interest of the female, steps up his campaign. He will begin sending gifts of brightly colored dead plants and chocolate-covered fefferberries. If the female is still responsive, he will purchase sparkly jewelry and invite her to join him at a theater production put on by the Amphitheatre aristocracy or for a fine dinner at an exotic local, such as the closest public park. After this happy event, the male presents the female with her hard-earned jewelry. If her reaction is suitably positive, the male will offer to repeat this process at least twice, possibly even combining the two events into dinner and theater. As these meetings progress, the female will begin to wear more and more gaudy clothing and stronger perfume in the hopes of signifying her readiness to mate. Eventually, this process culminates in one of two fated outcomes. More respectable couples will then proceed to the betrothal march, but the more interesting lower classes jump right to the main event.

In either case, Ghyllian physiology will take over once the soon-to-be-mated pair have secured a little "alone time" together in the dark. Once the lights are out, or at least dimmed, the pair will shed their fine, albeit artificial, plumage and fumble around until they find each other. Often this will be accompanied by quite a few bumps and bruises as they stumble into furniture and tread on each other's toes and fingers. However, while this part of the process seems somewhat dangerous and counter-productive, nothing could be further from the truth. It is at this juncture that the male's wang-dang-doodle becomes engorged with bodily fluids and the female's ringerangeroo swells, moistens, and turns the loveliest shade of coral. (A side note: this was observed at high risk to the researcher who sprang from a concealed closet in a room above the 'Daver whilst observing a mating pair in their natural habitat!) What happens next is a matter of some speculation, but, rumor has it that the male mounts his mate from above, inserting his wang-dang-doodle into her ringerangeroo, while she is suspended from various rope and chain frameworks. It would seem that a safety belt of some kind is employed by both parties and the risk to life and limb is quite high. Vigorous motion is then applied to the wang-dang-doodle/ringerangeroo junction for a varying amount of time. The entire procedure is accompanied by much ritualistic grunting and howling, occasionally punctuated with blood-curdling screams from either party, often in unison.

The rest of the unseemly maneuver takes place entirely hidden from view in the female's nether region. Assorted Occultologists have put forth theories on the subject and, while many of them are quite confusing and contradictory, the prevailing view is that the male releases some small part of his theoalchemical essence into the female's blood stream. At this point, a minuscule miracle occurs and, if the planets are aligned properly, the female becomes "shot in the gibblets". Assuming that there is no tragedy beforehand, the fortunate female will expel one or more offspring in approximately eight months. A typical calving results in a single offspring, but it is not wholly unheard of to have multiple whelps, though more than five has not been recorded by modern Theoalchemy. (After one such event, the interviewed subject was quoted as saying "Oy! I'd rather we did it like the Deathbug! In, out and over!")

Ghyllians are capable of reproducing after the thirteenth year. Females are able to breed into their mid-forties and males have been known to produce offspring well into their seventies. The mature female Ghyllian is only viable for reproduction once every Perky cycle. The mature male Ghyllian, however, is ready at any moment to perform his reproductive tasks. The reproductive strategies of various tribes of Ghyllians varies, but the female is generally expected to breed exclusively with a single male. The males, it seems, attempt to pollinate as many females as possible without physical injury to themselves.

Citations: Deathbug, Occultologists, Theoalchemy.

--Doctor Phineas Crank 21:58, 27 Oct 2004 (EDT)

As the good Doctor says, females are expected to breed exclusively, but in fact they don't, or all that male polygamous behavior wouldn't find any partners. In fact, theoalchemical investigation shows that the putative fathers of about 25% of Ghyllians are not their actual fathers.... --John Cowan 16:17, 28 Oct 2004 (EDT)

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