In the past, the predominant theory was that humans were the only animals who have sex for pleasure, and that others merely copulated to reproduce. That mindset is now changing and scientists presenting their work on Saturday at the Experimental Biology meeting add an important, stimulating female perspective. This, say the Mount Holyoke College scientists, suggests that sex is pleasurable for dolphins and facilitates social bonding.
The structure of female dolphin reproductive anatomy, though, can speak for itself. At the Experimental Biology conference held April in Orlando, Florida, marine mammal researcher Dara Orbach presented preliminary findings from one of the first studies to examine bottlenose dolphin clitorises. Orbach and her co-author, Patricia Brennan, both from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, were surprised to find dolphin clitorises have several bundles of nerves, similar to human clitorises.
A: Copulation is the most direct possible interaction between males and females, but we know so little about it largely due to the physical challenges of studying it, especially with underwater creatures. We do this by looking at tissue samples from animals that died of natural causes. We use whole penises and whole vaginas.
All rights reserved. An image reconstructed from CT scans showing how the penis of the common bottlenose dolphin red fits within the intricate folds and turns of a bottlenose dolphin vagina. Thanks to a pressurized penis inflator and genitals flown in from across the U. In a word, swimmingly.
Dolphin is a common name of aquatic mammals within the infraorder Cetacea. The term dolphin usually refers to the extant families Delphinidae the oceanic dolphinsPlatanistidae the Indian river dolphinsIniidae the New World river dolphinsand Pontoporiidae the brackish dolphinsand the extinct Lipotidae baiji or Chinese river dolphin. There are 40 extant species named as dolphins.
An in-depth study of the dolphin clitoris has revealed that these marine creatures may belong to a small group of animals that are known to experience sexual pleasure. Dolphins are known to have sex throughout the year, even at times when they are not capable of conceiving. In other animals that do this, including humans, sex can be pleasurable for females due in large part to clitoral stimulation.
Recreating dolphin sex in a laboratory could have major conservation benefits by helping to increase the chances of artificial insemination of marine mammals to help preserve threatened species. With sexual selection one of the key driving forces of evolution, a team looked at how cetaceans — dolphins, porpoises and whales — as well as seals perform in a marine world with all the hazards its poses for conventional sex. To see how all the mechanical parts fit, researchers Dara Orbach, from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Patricia Brennan, of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, explained in detail how the experiment was conducted, using the body parts of dolphins that had died naturally.
This week, the media went nuts over revelations in a BBC documentary about Lovatt's interactions with a male dolphin during a NASA-funded experiment in the s. It was just easier to incorporate that and let it happen. Then came the headlines.