Science » Planet Earth
Author`s name Dmitriy Sudakov

Sexual practices in the animal kingdom strike imagination

Just about everyone seems to have heard the phrase “information is a mixture of lies, blatant lies and statistics.” We may as well go on and make it a little longer: “information is a mixture of lies, blatant lies, statistics, and most amazing sexual facts and oddities concerning members of the animal kingdom.”

The animal world is full of quirks of nature when it comes to sexuality. Keeping this in mind, we could easily back even the most unconventional postulates with regard to morals in human sexuality by citing needful examples related to the animal kingdom.

Some animals play by the book sealed by monogamy. Others are rather chaotic and promiscuous in terms of manifestations of their sexual behavior. Some are known for their long and ceremonious mating rituals, others get down to business without wasting their time on foreplay.

Some animals use sex as a competition tool, others have sex for the purpose of cooperation. Some copulate to procreate offspring, others apparently take pleasure in performing the act. The mating of other species is often fraught with complexity and discomfort.

It is about time we gave out a cry of sheer surprise: “Animals do it just like we do!” However, we would be wrong if we made such an assertion. In fact, the assertion would smack of an anthropomorphic representation that ascribes human forms or attributes to a being or thing not human. We should not accept the instances of anthropomorphic likeliness at face value. We had better take a good look at the sexual behavior among animals to admire all that splendor and variety of forms animals display while being driven by their basic instinct, which is arguably the most universal instinct all living creatures possess.

Bonobo apes: sexual matriarchate rules

Bonobo apes live in the rain forests of Latin America. Either feminists or pacifists, advocates of free love or gays would surely conjure up the bonobo if the species did not exist. The bonobo is a fully bisexual species. In a way, bonobos are hippies who live up to the famous slogan “make love, not war.”

Sexual activity plays a major role in the bonobo’s daily life. Procreation is only part of the reason why bonobos have sex aplenty. Both males and females engage in heterosexual and homosexual behavior on a regular basis. For instance, two males competing against each other during courtship for a female are likely to end up in a sort of ardent sexual play that involves the winner giving comfort to the loser. Two females often engage in a lesbian activity prior to having a snack. Perhaps the first female is merely trying to convey the message to the other party: “Darling, I don’t think we should argue over that banana, don’t you think so?”

Praying mantis: copulate and die

The manifestations of matriarchate can boil down to love and affection (bonobo apes). However, they can be stained with gore too though the term seems hardy applicable in case of insects, which have no blood per se. Anyway, sexual behavior of the female praying mantis and some other insects e.g. spiders looks rather brutal. It is sad but true: the female praying mantis eats the head of its mate after sex. Moreover, the female often consumes its mate’s head in the process. These obnoxious types of sexual behavior allow the female praying mantis to stock up on food for the benefit of her offspring. As a result, the chances of survival for her offspring greatly improve.

According to studies, males of the praying mantis make up to 63 percent of food consumed by their female counterparts. Studies also found that the male mantis does not have a propensity for masochism when it comes to mating. Instead, the male mantis is thought to prefer mounting the female who has already got her fill. Besides, the male praying mantis tends to mount the female before she begins to devour his head in order to successfully complete copulation without it.

Argentine stiff-tailed duck: a clever marketing technique

As a rule, birds are penis-free creatures, so to speak. However, the Anceriformes are an exception to the rule. The male of the Argentine stiff-tailed duck is equipped with the penis that can be 1.5 times larger than the size of the duck itself. The duck’s penis can measure up to 45 centimeters long. One can only gasp in amazement and ask a simple question: Why on earth did the duck grow it so long? From the “technical point of view,” the size of the male reproductive organ is completely superfluous in this case. The answer is: The duck did it for the sake of bragging.

To outdo their rival competitors, other animals use symbols in the mating rituals. For example, a peacock will spread its shining tail feathers in a fan; a pidgin will puff up to appear larger that it really is; a dolphin will go dancing; a man will shower his sweetheart with presents. The Argentine duck apparently “decided” to keep it simple and use the penis itself as a symbol. In other words, the female duck will pick the best mate by examining genitals displayed during courtship rituals.

Masturbation is normal including horses et al.

Stallions often indulge in masturbation or stimulation of their genitals for sexual pleasure out of the sexual context, a behavior that was previously considered by horse breeders and owners as one of the “stalls vices,” which horses develop out of boredom. However, recent studies involving a research into sexual behavior of horses living in the wild found that the behavior is completely normal. Masturbation cannot cause any harm to the breeding capacity of a stallion, according to studies. Not only horses are known for their masturbatory practices. Kangaroos, dogs, elephants, lions, birds, and penguins are no strangers to masturbation either.

Medportal

Translated by Guerman Grachev
Pravda.ru

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