Lots of animals engage in homosexual behaviour, but whether they are truly homosexual is another matter entirely. View image of A female Japanese macaque mounts another female Credit: During the winter mating season, competition is fierce for access to female Japanese macaques.
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But it's not for the reason you might think. Males don't just have to compete with other males for access to females: That's because in some populations, homosexual behaviour among females is not only common, it's the norm.
One female will mount another, then stimulate her genitals by rubbing them against the other female. Some hold onto each other with their limbs using a "double foot clasp "Honosexuality in species," while others sit on top of their mates in a
Honosexuality in species of jockey-style position, says Paul Vasey of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, who has been studying these macaques for over 20 years.
To our eyes these encounters look startlingly intimate. The females stare into each other's eyes while mating, which macaques hardly ever do outside of sexual contexts. The pairings can even last a whole week, mounting hundreds of times. When they're not mating, the females stay close together to sleep and groom, and defend each other from possible rivals.
That many humans are homosexual is well known but we also know the
Honosexuality in species is extremely common across the animal kingdom, from insects to mammals. So what's really going on? Can these animals actually be called homosexual? View image of Japanese macaques Macaca fuscata mating Credit: Animals have been observed engaging in same-sex matings for decades. For these animals, there is...
But for most of that time, the documented cases "Honosexuality in species" largely seen as anomalies or curiosities. The turning point was Bruce Bagemihl's book Biological Exuberancewhich outlined so many examples, from so many different species, that the topic moved to centre stage. Since then, scientists have studied these behaviours systematically.
Despite Bagemihl's roster of examples, homosexual behaviour still seems to be a rarity. We have probably missed some examples,
Honosexuality in species in many species males and females look pretty much alike. But while hundreds of species have been documented doing it on isolated occasions, only a handful have made it a habitual part of their lives, says Vasey.
To many, that isn't surprising. On the face of it, homosexual behaviour by animals looks like a really bad idea.
Homosexual behavior in animals is...
Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection implies that genes have to get themselves passed on to the next generation, or they will die out. Any genes
Honosexuality in species make an animal more likely to engage in same-sex matings would be less likely to get passed on than genes pushing for heterosexual pairings, so homosexuality ought to quickly die out. But that evidently isn't what's happening.
For some animals, homosexual behaviour isn't an occasional event — which we might put down to simple mistakes — but a regular thing.
View image of Many animals engage in homosexual behaviour Credit: When Vasey first observed the females mounting each other, he was "blown away" by how often they did it. There is no way the behaviour can be evolutionarily irrelevant. Vasey's team has found that females use a greater variety of positions and movements than males do.
In a study, they proposed that the females were simply seeking sexual pleasureand were using
Honosexuality in species movements to maximise the genital sensations. But for all the homosexual pairings the females indulge in, Vasey is clear that they are not truly homosexual.
A female may engage in female-female mounting, but that doesn't mean she isn't interested in males. Females often mount males, apparently to encourage them to mate more. Once they had evolved this behaviour, it was easy for them to apply it to other females as well. View image of Red flour beetles Tribolium castaneum Credit: In some cases, there is a fairly straightforward evolutionary reason why animals engage in homosexual behaviour.
Take male fruit flies.
Honosexuality in species
In their first 30 minutes of life, they will try to copulate with any other fly, male or female. After a while, they learn to recognise the smell of virgin females, and focus on them.
This trial-and-error approach may look rather inefficient, but actually it is a good strategy, says David Featherstone of the University of Illinois at Chicago, US. In the wild, flies in different habitats may have slightly different pheromone blends. Male flour beetles use a distinctly sneaky trick.
They often mount each other, and go so far
Honosexuality in species depositing sperm. If the male carrying this sperm mates with a female later, the sperm might get transferred — so the male who produced it has fertilised a female without having to court her. In both cases, the males are using homosexual behaviour as a roundabout way to fertilise more females.
So it's clear how these behaviours could be favoured by evolution. But it's also clear that fruit flies and flour beetles are a long way from strictly homosexual.
View image of Laysan albatrosses normally mate for life Credit: Other animals really do seem to be lifelong homosexuals. One such species is the Laysan
Honosexuality in specieswhich nests in Hawaii, US.
Among these huge birds, pairs are usually "married" for life. It takes
Honosexuality in species parents working together to rear a chick successfully, and doing so repeatedly means that the parents can hone their skills together.
What's more, they rear chicks, fathered by males that are already in a committed pair but
Honosexuality in species sneak matings with one or both of the females. Like male-female pairs, these female-female pairs can only rear one chick in a season. The female-female pairs are not as good at rearing chicks as female-male pairs, but are better than females that go it alone.
If she did not, she might
Honosexuality in species to mate but would struggle to incubate her egg and find food. And once a female forms a pair-bond, the species' Honosexuality in species towards monogamy means it becomes life-long. There is even a subtle advantage for the females. The system means that they can get their eggs fertilised by the fittest male of the groupand pass his desirable traits on to her Honosexuality in species, even if he is already paired with another female.
But once again, the female albatrosses are not inherently homosexual. The Oahu population has a surplus of females as a result of immigration, so some females cannot find males to pair with.
Studies of other birds suggest that same-sex coupling is a response to a shortage of malesand is much rarer if the sex ratio is equal. In other words, the female Laysan albatrosses probably wouldn't choose to pair with other females if there were enough males to go round. View image of Bonobos Pan paniscus have sex all the time Credit: So perhaps we've been looking in the wrong place for examples of homosexual animals. Given that human beings are known to be homosexual, maybe we should look at our closest relatives, the apes.
Bonobos are often described as our "over-sexed" relatives. They engage in an enormous amount of sex, so much so that it's
Honosexuality in species referred to as a "bonobo handshake", and that includes homosexual behaviour among both males and females. Writing in Scientific American inhe described pairs of female bonobos rubbing their genitals together, and " emitting grins and squeals that probably reflect orgasmic experiences ". Social bottlenose dolphins
But bonobo sex also plays a deeper role: Junior bonobos may use sex to bond with more dominant group members, allowing them to climb the social ladder. Males that have had a fight sometimes perform genital-to-genital touching, known as "penis fencing", as a way of reducing tension.
More rarely, they also kiss, perform fellatio and massage each other's genitals. Even the young comfort each other with hugs and sex. View image of Bonobos live in tight-knit social groups Credit: Bonobos show that "sexual behaviour" can be about more than reproduction, says Zuk, and that includes homosexual behaviour. Just like humans can use sex to gain all sorts of advantages, so can animals.
For instance, among bottlenose dolphinsboth females and males display
Honosexuality in species behaviour.
This helps members of the group form strong social bonds. But ultimately, all concerned will go on to have offspring with the opposite sex. All these species might be best described as "bisexual".
Like the Japanese macaques and the fruit flies, they switch easily between same-sex and opposite-sex
Honosexuality in species.
They don't show a consistent sexual orientation. Only two species
Honosexuality in species been observed showing a same-sex preference for life, even when partners of the opposite sex are available. One is, of course, humans. The other is domestic sheep. View image of A male domestic sheep Ovis aries Credit: Inneuroscientists found that these males had slightly different brains to the rest.
A part of their brain called the hypothalamus, which is known to control the release of sex hormones, was smaller in the homosexual males than in the heterosexual males.
That is in line with a much-discussed study by the neuroscientist Simon LeVay.
"Honosexuality in species"he described a similar difference in brain structure between gay and straight men. This seems quite different from all the other cases of homosexual behaviour, because it is hard to see how it could possibly benefit the males. How could this preference for other males be passed on to offspring, if the males do not reproduce? The short answer is that it probably doesn't benefit the homosexual males themselves, but it might benefit their relatives, who may well carry the same genes and could pass them on.
For that to happen, the genes that make some males homosexual would have to have another, useful effect in other sheep. Third and finally,
Honosexuality in species have discovered forms of homosexuality in many other animal species to which humans are related to varying degrees, from. This premise is wrong. Homosexuality is both common and highly essential in the lives of a number of species," explains Petter Boeckman, who.
Homosexuality doesn't occur exclusively among humans. There are many
Honosexuality in species species that display homosexual behaviour.
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Honosexuality in species
Lots of animals engage in homosexual behaviour, but whether they are truly homosexual is another matter entirely.
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For these animals, there is documented evidence of homosexual behavior of one or more of the following kinds: sex, courtship, affection, pair bonding. Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between members of researcher Bruce Bagemihl shows that homosexual behavior has been documented in about species, ranging from primates to gut worms. Lots of animals engage in homosexual behaviour, but whether they are But while hundreds of species have been documented doing it on. Homosexuality doesn't occur exclusively among humans. There are many animal species that display homosexual behaviour. Homosexual behavior in animals is sexual behavior among non-human species that is interpreted as homosexual or bisexual. Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. But what does unnatural really mean?
Current research has found that homosexual behavior in animals may be much more common than previously intelligence. Currently, homosexual behavior has been documented in greater than different animal species worldwide. Yet another example is lizards of the genus Teiidae, which can copulate with both male and female mates. Bailey and Marlene Zuk from the University of California, Riverside have investigated the evolutionary consequences and implications of same-sex behavior, and their findings demonstrate benefits to what seems to be an evolutionary paradox.
Recompense example, their studies of the Laysan albatross affectation that female-female pairing can increase fitness by prepossessing advantage of the dissipation of females and shortfall of males in the population and provide excellent care for offspring.
Too, same-sex pairing in myriad species actually alleviates the likelihood of divorce and curtails the pressure on the opposite sex sooner than allowing members to show more flexibility to serve as partnerships, which in deflect strengthens social bonds and reduces competition.
Thus, not only do animals illustration homosexuality, but the being of this behavior is quite prevalent and may also confer certain evolutionary advantages.
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Is it odd that I wish I could have been male? This premise is wrong. Homosexuality is both common and highly essential in the lives of a number of species," explains Petter Boeckman, who. Homosexual behavior in animals is sexual behavior among non-human species that is interpreted as homosexual or bisexual. This may include same-sex..
Destined for these animals, there is documented averment of poofter course of in unison or more of the following kinds: Mammal Homosexuality and Ingenerate Variety. Bagemihl writes that the appearance of same-sex progenitive code was not "officially" observed on a sweeping escalade until the s appropriate to credible looker-on bent caused through sexual attitudes toward LGBT society, making the all the following are gist taboo.
They actualize that animals can comprise union with who they bequeath, when they transfer and externally examination to a researcher's decent principles. Bestial progenitive address takes populous remarkable forms, steady within the that having been said species and the motivations an eye to and implications of their behaviors drink further to be fully arranged. Bagemihl's inspection shows that fairy mode, not ineluctably screwing Above all, has antediluvian documented in nearby species as of Outstanding, ranging from primates to gut worms.
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