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No, this is not not about courtship displays or dominance figths. (even thought I know that that is also part of mating) This is more of "What their genitalia would look like" and how they would "do it".

Think on your typical smaug-sized, extra armored, four-limbed, fire breathing dragon (let's ignore the fact the their fligth would be impossible.).

The females are slightly bigger than the males, and due to their spikey spiky backs, I think mounting (like birds) or intertweening (like most lizards) would result in castration. So... Nope.

Now here goes my especulation (feel free to prove me wrong, and give me a more "correct" anatomy. This is the point of this question...hehehe...)

Like reptiles and birds, dragons have cloacae, and due to the "agressive" mating behavior dragons seem to portray in fiction, I belive their genitals would be similar to those of ducks (corkscrew-shaped, the male's in one direction, the females in the opposite one.)

As I studied dinos for this matter, I found that Stegossaurus had sort of a away around this: The female would lie down on her side, but I don't think that would work too well on winged beings (the female would have to squish one of her wings for it to work, and expose the soft, vulnerable plating on it's belly), and besides, a dragon's tail is about 2 thirds of it's body, so it would just get on the away.

If dragons do it like the T-rex, then also, their tail would get in the way (and I belive that the female would not be able to raise her tail hight enougth, nor crouch properly (the wings would get on the way), and I doubt that a many tons male dragon will be able to main precise equilibrium wilhe standing on his hind legs to get it done.

In my opinion, the less-troublesome position would be if they faced away from each other (think moths and butterflies), but still, their long, heavy spiky tail seem to get on the way.

So, is there a much more accurate method of dragon sex than the ones above? (cuz, honestly, I think none of those would work ) How?

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    $\begingroup$ What kind of hard science do you expect here? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Apr 14, 2020 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ given that porcupine and huge crocodiles also mount, you are worried about nothing. organisms just evolve a slightly longer penis. A lot of animals have prehensile penises. Also if your females are larger aggression will not be an issue. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Apr 14, 2020 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ Who says they have to physically inseminate? Take a look at fish, octopuses, and so on. $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2020 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ i try to google how thorny devil mating, though i dont know the genitalia or the mating process really look like, but seems like its not a problem to have spiky back while mating for them. here the image maybe it can help. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Apr 14, 2020 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps a picture of the kind of dragon you want? The Western Dragon for example seems to fit the bill but you still have the 4-legged+winged version and the 2-legged+winged version. Also an estimate on their size is nice. Horse size, stegosaurus, T-rex, barn-sized? $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Dec 15, 2020 at 18:45

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Have a look at Whales reproducing

Whales are awkward shapes. However they have found a way: extremely long penises.

enter image description here

These penises are 4m long, and weigh up to one tonne.

They need this not just because of awkwardness, but their huge size means their momentum and velocity are commensurately large and ponderous, they cannot be precise, yet the copulation must last long enough for reliable travel of semen to the recipient.

Your dragons would encounter similar problems because of their scale. Copulation could then occur in a variety of positions, not limited to just a single configuration.

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  • $\begingroup$ That also adds a whole new natural weapon for male dragons to wallop you with. $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2021 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ You could extend this to making the actual mating taking place in the water. Imagine two dragons doing aerial courtship and the diving together hiding the act underwatee from the pesky humans and then reemerging and parting ways. $\endgroup$
    – lijat
    Sep 11, 2021 at 17:55
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how about belly to belly?

I'm assuming your dragons are more like whyverns (2 wings working as limbs, hind limbs). In this situation, let's take a look at bat reproduction, even if your dragons lack the "classic" mammalian genitalia. You'll see many species stick their bellies together, doing their breeding. Your dragons could try something similar in giant cave galleries if they had strong tails and hind limbs, using them to support themselves while keeping their bellies close to one another. That way, not only they'd have their underside protected by the mate, their cloacas would be close enough, I assume, to do the deed. This can be also done if, being smaller, the male lays belly up and lets the female conduct the process, in a sign of submission and trust, vital in case they're monogamous and take care of their young like t-rexes and raptor birds like the harpy eagle. At the end she could help him up if he couldn't turn around on his own, solving the problem and cementing the trust in the partner, as she could just leave him to die or kill him herself. While your aggressive females might indicate the males would need to be like ducks, a similar behavior was seen in t-rexes, and the male's only choice was to please the female or get eaten by her, so it's not too crazy to believe your dragons could show similar, if not greater submission In males (notice that with this process you could change your dragon reproductive structures to resemble more that of snakes, with the male cloaca being longer and extending outwards to do the connection, as there'd be less resistance from the female)

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they have wings, why not use them? they both fly in the air so there is no need to worry about anything getting crushed. And this means only good fliers can reproduce so natural selection is taken care of. it seems kinda obvious. also welcome to worldbuilding SE!

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  • $\begingroup$ Really nice, though I'd think this would be better in courtship, as mating in mid-air would take a lot of energy out of these creatures, which is especially bad for the female, which will need all the energy she can to ensure proper reproduction. If we see that T-rex reproduction would exhaust the land - dwelling female, imagine a flying one which spent a good time doing it above the clouds? $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2020 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ @ProjectApex true, but these are dragons we are talking about, it wouldnt be to far fetched to assume they have large stamia. $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Apr 14, 2020 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ true enough, though I still wonder how they'd avoid hitting each other with their wings (Imagine just be trying to pass your genes and being slapped in the face), but it truly would be majestic to watch if they figured these problems out. $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2020 at 17:48
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The male releases spores into the wind,

the female collects them on her crest, and they migrate into the ovarian tubules around her neck, of course. How else would you do it?

You think too narrowly by wanting to impose mammalian sexual organs on creatures that are inherently different.

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  • $\begingroup$ "You think too narrowly by wanting to impose mammalian sexual organs on creatures that are inherently different." I love this answer. $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2021 at 20:13
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Mate the same way pterodactyls do. Anyway, they were the inspiration for the dragon in the first place, so why don't make them mate the same way.

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  • $\begingroup$ So, er, how do pterodactyls mate? Do we have any idea? $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2021 at 14:43
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Perhaps they might have their genitalia on their tail, like turtles do, allowing them to mate while simply standing with their tails intertwined

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They do it like scorpions do. The male leaves a puddle of seed somewhere, then the female rubs her parts against that:

When the male has located a suitably stable substrate, such as hard ground, agglomerated sand, rock, or tree bark, he deposits the spermatophore and guides the female over it. This allows the spermatophore to enter her genital opercula, which triggers release of the sperm, thus fertilizing the female. A mating plug then forms in the female to prevent her from mating again before the young are born. The male and female then abruptly separate, and the male never calls her again.

No draconic version of Kama Sutra required.

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Actually, dinosaur reproduction methods are entirely theoretical - soft tissue is poorly preserved, so even if a fossil represented two individuals in the act, none of the relevant cues would be present for interpretation.

Ducks and other waterfowl are quite rare among birds - most birds simply perform a variation of the 'cloacal kiss,' no specialty member required. Many can do it impressively fast and with very little yoga required (...which I know because thinking "oops, don't wanna watch those birds that are clearly about to do -" happens to be about the time span required. "Thanks", local hawk pair...)

Belly to belly is also fairly plausible, especially while lying on sides or partially supported by water. However, ultimately, "Carefully" is going to be a sufficient answer to explain most mounting positions, spikes and all - after all, there are plenty of baby porcupines making their way out into the world on the regular.

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My female dragons lay clutches of eggs with soft shells. The males fertilize them which triggers the hardening of their multicolored armored shells.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding Stackexchange! Your answer is good but far too short to be considered useful. You may want to edit and add specific details to help the OP. $\endgroup$ Sep 11, 2021 at 17:46
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    Sep 11, 2021 at 17:46

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