Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Oh, Deer! Monkeys Go Ape Over Does and Stags

Sexual interactions between snow monkeys and sika deer could be a new behavioural tradition within a group of monkeys observed in Japan, researchers have suggested. While the first report of a male Japanese macaque, or snow monkey, and female sika deer taking to each other was revealed earlier this year, scientists say they are now confident the behaviour is sexual after scrutinising adolescent females suggestively interacting with stags at Minoo in Japan. "The monkey-deer sexual interactions reported in our paper may reflect the early stage development of a new behavioural tradition at Minoo," said Dr Noëlle Gunst-Leca, co-author of the study from the University of Lethbridge in Canada.

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"It is maybe a new/innovative behaviour that can be socially transmitted and will spread," he said. "Monkeys do this according to the sex ratio at the reproductive season: if females cannot have access to males, they can have homosexual relations or relations with a deer."

The team also found that the adolescent females emitted high pitched calls at the deer when gazing at them, and threw tantrums – including body spasms and screams – if the deer walked away, as they do when engaged in sexual interactions with other monkeys.

The successful sexual interactions observed involved a male deer, with the majority involving an adult male: two female deer and three young males courted by the monkeys simply reared up, unseating them....

While it is unclear why the animals would engage in such behaviour, Gunst-Leca said there were several possibilities, including adolescent females practising for sex with other monkeys, that it offers females a safer way of engaging in sexual behaviour than hooking up with aggressive male monkeys, or that adolescent females are often rejected by adult male monkeys, leaving them at a loss for partners of their own species.

Since snow monkeys have also been spotted riding sika deer with no clear sexual agenda – the animals are often found at the same sites since the deer eat food left by monkeys as they forage – it is also possible that adolescent females have developed a taste for the genital stimulation, Gunst-Leca added

"Future observations at this site will indicate whether this group-specific sexual oddity was a short-lived fad or the beginning of a culturally-maintained phenomenon," the authors note.

Comments

My rainbow fish is a total whore for anything with an anal fin. The bird combinations are particularly commonplace around here. Somehow I'm guessing this bonding might be more than mere opportunism, imo.

#1 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2017-12-20 12:46 PM

But a monkey deer really takes the cake. Fangs, antlers and feces - no thanks?

#2 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2017-12-20 12:48 PM

Sea lions have been known to rape penguins (I'm serious).

#3 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-12-20 03:52 PM

"Sea lions have been known to rape penguins...." - #3 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-12-20 03:52 PM

That's probably because sea lions just couldn't bring themselves to bring their girlfriend penguins home to meet dear old mom and dad sea lion.

#4 | Posted by Hans at 2017-12-20 03:57 PM

As that wild one Emily Dickinson observed, "The Heart wants what it wants...."

#5 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2017-12-21 12:01 PM

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