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In case you didn’t realize, dolphins are really slutty. They nuzzle, stroke and caress each other, masturbate against rocks, use echolocation to stimulate each other’s genitals and sometimes they stimulate their penises inside each other’s blowholes. Yes, really.
So we’re not too surprised that researchers from the Mandurah Dolphin Research Project in Western Australia recently discovered a pod of 15 male dolphins engaging in “homosexual behavior” after their mating season had ended. Researchers observed the dolphins — most of which were juveniles — mounting each other, having genital contact and getting into various group compositions.
Though researchers didn’t call it an orgy, that’s basically what happens in an orgy.
Why do dolphins have gay and bisexual sex (and orgies)?
Murdoch University researcher Krista Nicholson said that “Homosexual behavior plays an important part in the development of close bonds between males and negotiating dominance relations within and between the eventual alliances.“
And this isn’t the first time that dolphins have been observed having gay sex. In fact, in 2012, University of Massachusetts researchers observing 120 bottlenose dolphins in western Australia found that the males participated “in extensive bisexuality, combined with periods of exclusive homosexuality.”
Here’s a video of Isabella Rosselini discussing gay and lesbian dolphin sex
Are dolphins really some of the only mammals that has sex for pleasure?
It has been said that dolphins are one of the few mammalian species (besides bonobo chimps) that has sex for pleasure rather than just for procreation, but this statement is inaccurate. Animals have sex because of a biological drive and it’s difficult for researchers to tell whether animals have sex for “pleasure” or to know whether animals realize that sex leads to children.
Some animal species will take on certain behaviors, smells or appearances when they’re fertile during mating season as a way to alert heterosexual partners. They do this so that their different sex partners don’t needlessly waste energy or leave themselves susceptible to attack while mating.
Dolphins and humans aren’t like this, however (they have what scientists call “concealed ovulation,” that is, you can’t tell when they have eggs ready to be fertilized). And dolphins and humans have sex even when female partners aren’t fertile. But it isn’t always for “pleasure.” Sometimes it’s just to satisfy a biological drive or to establish social bonds, with pleasure as an afterthought. Science!
Featured image by ALesik via iStock