Various Lies

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

See it IS normal!

From today's edition of Nature, about an article in the Public Library of Science (PLoS).

Research Highlights

Nature 462, 14 (5 November 2009) | doi:10.1038/462014b; Published online 4 November 2009

Animal behaviour: Fruit-bat fellatio

PLoS One 4, e7595 (2009)

Libiao Zhang of Guangdong Entomological Institute in China and his colleagues have documented what may be the first case of regular fellatio in adult animals other than humans.

They report that female short-nosed fruit bats (Cynopterus sphinx) licked their mate's penis during 14 of 20 observed copulations. Matings that involved licking lasted significantly longer than those that did not.

Possible functions for this behaviour include stimulation to prolong copulation and assist fertilization; mate guarding; antibacterial effects; and the detection of chemicals assisting in mate choice.

The authors say their observations could suggest a possible adaptive benefit for the activity in this species.


microbiologist xx said...

I wonder if this is the primary focus of this lab, or just something they happened upon while watching a bunch of fruit bats get it on.

tideliar said...

I suspect the latter. There was a paper a few years ago about the first non-primate case of "orgasm", as in pleasure with sexual climax as opposed to observing an apparently purely functional climax*.

They admitted that they had observed the phenomena (bats or birds, I forget), during some other research and that some poor bastard grad student had then got the job of erotic stimulator as a project... fun huh? I think they won an IgNobel.

*why assume there *isnt* pleasure?