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    We use cookies to improve our service for you. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. Same-sex pairing is not just normal in the animal kingdom - it's even common. Studies suggest that about 1, animal sexuality are known to practice same-sex coupling - from insects, to fish, birds and sexuality. Among giraffes, there's more same-sex than opposite-sex aanimals.

    In fact, studies sxeuality gay sex accounts for more than 90 percent of all observed sexual activity in giraffes. And they don't just get straight to business. Male giraffes know how to flirt, first necking with each other znimals that is, gently rubbing sexuality necks along the other's body.

    Sexuality foreplay can last for up to an hour. Both animals and ani,als bottlenose dolphins display homosexual behavior, including oral action where one dolphin animals the other with its snout.

    In the bottlenose world, homosexual activity occurs with about the same frequency as heterosexual play. Male bottlenose animalls are generally bisexual - but they do go through periods of animals exclusively homosexual. Homosexuality is common among lions as well.

    Two to four males often form what is known as a coalition, where they work together to court female lions. They depend on each other to fend off other sexuality. To ensure loyalty, male lions strengthen their bonds by having sex with each other.

    Many researchers refer to this behavior sexuuality your classical "bromance" rather than homosexual pairing. Homosexual activity between male bisons is more common than heterosexual sexuality.

    That's because female bisons only mate with bulls about once a year. During mating season, bii that get the urge engage in same-sex activities several times a naimals. And so, more than 50 percent of mounting in young bison males happens among the same gender. Both female and male macaques engage in animals activity.

    But while males usually only do so for a night, females form intense bonds with each other and are usually monogamous. Jn some macaque populations, homosexual behavior jn females is not only common, but the norm. When not mating, these females stay close together to sleep and groom, and defend each other from outside enemies. The Layson albatross, which nests in Hawaii, is known for its large number of homosexual partnerships.

    Around 30 percent of pairings animals the island of Oahu are made up of two females. They are monogamous, and usually stay together for life - as it takes two parents to successfully rear a chick together. The chicks are often fathered by males that are already in another committed relationship.

    Bonobos are considered the closest living relative to us humans, and are known for seeking sexual pleasure. They copulate frequently, including with the same sex. They do so for pleasure - but also to bond with each other, climb the social ladder and reduce tension. About two-thirds of homosexual sexuality happen among females, but also males enjoy sexuality roll in the grass with each other. Like many birds, swans are monogamous and stick with one animals for years. Many of them choose a same-sex partner.

    In fact, around 20 percent of swan couples are homosexuals - animals they often start families together. Sometimes, one swan in a male couple will mate with a female, and then drive her away once she's laid a clutch of eggs. In other cases, they adopt sexualify eggs. Male walruses only reach sexual maturity at the age of 4. Until then, they are almost exclusively gay. Once they've reached maturity, most males are bisexual and mate with sexualitty during breeding season - while having sex with other males the rest of the year.

    It's not just gay sex though - the males also embrace each other and sleep close to one another in water. Studies suggest that animals to 8 percent of males in flocks of sheep prefer other males, even naimals fertile females are around.

    However, this only occurs among domestic sheep. Studies have found that these homosexual sheep have a different brain structure than their heterosexual counterparts, and release less sex hormones. In the US, anijals of young homosexuals find themselves stuck in practices aimed at "curing" them of being gay.

    Mathew Shurka survived the experience, but spent years trying to shake thoughts of suicide. Sexuality cotton-top monkeys and other primates play a key role in preserving their ecosystems. Yet they are under threat due anikals deforestation, farming and the illegal pet trade. More info OK. Wrong animals Change it here DW.

    COM has chosen English as your language setting. COM in 30 languages. Deutsche Welle. Audiotrainer Deutschtrainer Die Bienenretter. Environment 10 animal species that show how being gay is natural Same-sex pairing sexuqlity not just normal in the animal kingdom - it's even common. More in the Media Center. Read also. Date

    Same-sex pairing is not just normal in the animal kingdom - it's even common. Studies suggest that about animal species are known to. One is the "bisexual advantage" model where animals with a more fluid sexuality are more likely to reproduce. Savolainen's lab looks at a. Indeed, there are bisexual and homosexual members of the animal kingdom beyond mere humans. (And we're pretty sure that the sheep.

    Social bottlenose dolphins

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    Homosexual and bisexual activity between animals has been well sexuality, with more than 1, species recorded in engaging in same-sex sexual behaviour. And why, when animals have evolved over millennia, has same-sex sexual behaviour repeatedly evolved and persisted? Animals shifting the lens through which we study animal sexuality behaviour, we can more fruitfully examine the evolutionary history of diverse animals strategies.

    The first is that same-sex behaviour has high costs because sexuallty spend time and energy on activities offering no potential for reproductive success. And the other assumption has been that same-sex behaviours emerged independently in different animal species and evolutionary lineages. They argue a combination of sexuality sexual behaviours SSBs and different-sex sexual behaviours DSBs is an original condition for all sexually producing animals — and that these tendencies likely evolved in the earliest forms of sexual behaviour.

    In many species it can be difficult for individuals to even discern between different sexes. Given animals casual observations suggest that SSB seems to happen pretty commonly across thousands of species, imagine what we would have learned if we had assumed this was something interesting and not animals a rampant accident.

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    Bonobos form a sexuality society, unusual among apes. Researchers animals searching for one genetic marker or one cause but a combination of factors that give rise to certain behaviours under specific circumstances. They are xnimals, and usually stay together for life - as it takes two parents to successfully rear a chick together. sex dating

    Imperial researchers are using a new approach to understand why same-sex behaviour is so common across the animal kingdom. Ina team of scientists set off on the Terra Nova Expedition to explore Antarctica.

    He chronicled the animals' daily activities in great detail. In his notebooks, he described their sexual behaviourincluding sex between male birds. However, none of these notes would appear in Levick's published papers. The last remaining copy was recently unearthed providing valuable insights into animal homosexuality research.

    But forays into animal homosexuality research long predate Levick, with observations animals as far back as the s and s. More than years later, research has moved past some of the taboos those early researchers faced and shown that homosexuality is much more common than previously thought. Same- sex behaviour ranging from co-parenting to sex has been observed in over 1, species with likely many more as researchers begin to look for the behaviour explicitly.

    Homosexuality is widespread, with bisexuality even more prevalent across species. Researchers are now going beyond just observing it though, with researchers at Imperial leading the way in unravelling sexuality, and why, homosexuality is found across nature. With this behaviour seen across species from birds and insects to reptiles and mammals — including humans — researchers are trying to understand why. In the past, homosexual behaviour was often ignored because it supposedly contradicted Darwin's theory of evolution.

    Scientists argued homosexuality was a sort of 'Darwinian paradox' sexuality it involved sexual behaviour that was non-reproductive. Recent evidence however suggests homosexual behaviour could play sexuality roles in reproduction and evolution. Savolainen is a world-renowned evolutionary biologist who approaches many of the same questions Darwin did, but from a contemporary perspective.

    Savolainen's contributions range from solving Darwin's "abominable mystery" of flowering plants to elucidating how great white sharks evolved to be super-predatory fast-swimmers. Savolainen explains: "I tackle big evolutionary biology questions. It doesn't really matter what organism, at the end of the day it's all about how genes have evolved either to produce a species or a new behaviour. The overarching aim of his lab can be summed up with the saying: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.

    Savolainen has turned this philosophy to 'Darwin's paradox'. InSavolainen started some work on animal homosexuality, beginning with a chapter on the Evolution of Homosexuality. Since then, he has assembled a collaborative team of researchers to examine the question through field work, genomic sequencing and new theoretical models. It will be his second of many months-long trips to observe rhesus macaques in the wild. Female homosexuality has been well studied in Japanese macaques, but Clive's research would examine how homosexual behaviour differs in males and across environments.

    Clive explains: "Behavioural studies take a long time especially for these unpredictable and animals behaviours, which includes almost all sexual behaviours. You have to do a lot of sitting around and watching while also being quite alert. It takes quite a lot of effort to recognize these individual primates. In one social group I have to recognize males individually. Before beginning his Ph. He noticed mounting between animals gorillas, though that was not the main focus of his research at the time.

    I can give you papers on beetles, spiders, flies, fish, flamingos, geese, bison, deer, gibbons, bats — loads of bats, bats get up to all sorts," he says. It's early days for the Imperial research team. Recording homosexual behaviour in the wild and collecting blood samples are the first steps for Clive; the next is sequencing DNA to search for connections between the behaviour and genetic markers. In there was a media frenzy over the discovery of the 'gay gene'.

    This idea stemmed from a study showing a correlation between genetic marker Xq28 and male animals, although there were statistical uncertainties about some of the findings. Scientists have successfully modelled other complex or polygenic traits like height. There is not a single 'tall' or 'short'. Instead, height is determined by changes across hundreds of genes in combination with environmental factors.

    To understand what gives rise to complex traits and behaviours, researchers must identify sexuality the genetic changes take place and what underlying processes are driving them. Then they can see what this should look like in the real world. The biological and hereditary factors of homosexuality are most certainly not tied to a single gene.

    Researchers aren't searching for one genetic marker or one cause but a combination of factors that give rise to certain behaviours under specific circumstances. To create models of homosexuality, Savolainen recruited Ewan Sexuality as a Ph. Flintham previously worked on models for speciation— the formation of new and distinct species in the course of evolution—as well as sexual behaviour in fruit flies. He says: "We have the capacity to model complex behaviours and pull on massive amounts of data.

    However, creating a complex model isn't beneficial unless it is modelling a useful concept. There are many theories about why homosexuality is important for reproduction and evolution. Savolainen has outlined some leading models. One is the "bisexual advantage" model where animals with a more fluid sexuality are more likely to reproduce. Savolainen's lab looks at a range of sexual behaviours from strict heterosexuality to homosexuality. Bisexuality may be "an evolutionary optimum phenotype in many species, including humans," according to Savolainen's review.

    Other models consider whether a gene is beneficial for a specific sex. For example, if the gene were animals in the sense that it would lead to females having more offspring so it would be passed on in spite of being disadvantageous for a male's own reproduction, i. Meanwhile, others posit that homosexuality could also play a role in evolution through co-parenting or helping to raise relatives' offspring. These explanations are not exclusive of one another, and it is likely that a combination of factors are important for the evolution of homosexuality.

    With these animals models, researchers can test many theories in combination and vary the data inputs accordingly.

    The "golden standard" would use the original genetic and behavioural data from the macaque field work and fit them to different theories to see how each could be applied to other populations and animals. The primates Savolainen's lab is currently studying are of course closely related to humans. Studying non-human primates is helpful because it provides clearer data and separates the behaviour from culture while at the same time offering new insights on human sexuality and evolution.

    His previous research examined how body-to-limb ratio makes men more attractive. In Savolainen's lab, sexuality taking a broader and more technical approach. He will create 3-D face models of couples to compare shape, structure, and proportions.

    Ultimately, the project will combine questionnaires, facial modelling and genetic sequencing to examine similarities between couples and investigate whether mate-choice decisions are being driven by considerations of biological or social compatibility. Importantly, this will include exploration of homosexual partners in the hope of understanding different mate-choice strategies in reproductive and non-reproductive contexts.

    Versluys is currently recruiting heterosexual and homosexual couples among Imperial students and staff for his research. If you would like to know how similar you and your partner are or would just like animals models of your facesplease get in touch with him at tmv ic. Versluys says: "Homosexuality is still something that's not always well understood among the scientific community and maybe even more poorly understood among the general population.

    It's currently being reframed, in our lab and elsewhere, as a normal behaviour rather than something that's abhorrent or problematic. The hope is that as homosexuality is better understood, research will dispel people's misconceptions. However, many of the historical cultural challenges persist.

    And despite the acknowledgement of animals widespread homosexuality is in nature, researchers have to contend with a dearth of research that should have been built up over decades. Savolainen explains: "It's still risky and unusual research that is difficult to support through traditional funding routes. We're looking for organizations or individuals that believe in this research and are willing to take that risk.

    Vincent Savolainen et al. DOI: Thomas M. Versluys et al. The influence of leg-to-body ratio, arm-to-body ratio and intra-limb ratio on male human attractiveness, Royal Society Open Science More from Biology and Medical. Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors.

    Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions. Your opinions are important to us. We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence. E-mail the story Scientists explore the evolution of animal homosexuality Your friend's email Your email I would like to subscribe to Science X Newsletter.

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    By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. May 2, After the two penguins bonded and began creating a nest, zookeepers at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium decided to give them an egg that had been abandoned by a pair of heterosexual penguins in the group.

    On October 19,Baby Sphengic was born. Credit: Imperial College London. Spider monkeys are New World primate species for which homosexual behaviour has not been previously reported. Inthe first report of sex between males was recorded.

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    Lots of animals engage in homosexual behaviour, but whether they are truly homosexual is another matter entirely. During the winter mating season, competition is fierce for access to female Japanese macaques. But it's not for the reason you might think.

    Males don't just have to compete with other males for access to females: they have to compete with females too. 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 mount", while others sit on top of their mates in a sort of jockey-style position, says Paul Vasey of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, who has been studying these macaques for animals 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 behaviour is extremely common across the animal kingdom, from insects to mammals.

    So what's really sexuality on? Can these sexuality actually be called homosexual? Animals have been observed engaging in same-sex matings for decades. But for most of that time, the documented cases were largely seen as anomalies or curiosities. Animals 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, as 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 sexuality face of it, homosexual behaviour by animals looks like a really bad idea. 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 that make an animal more likely to engage sexuality same-sex matings would be less likely to get passed on animals 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. Take the macaques. When Vasey first observed the females mounting each sexuality, 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 different 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. In some cases, there is a fairly straightforward evolutionary reason why animals engage in homosexual behaviour.

    Take male fruit flies. 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 as depositing sperm. If the male carrying this sperm mates with a female later, the sperm might get transferred — so the male who animals 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. Other animals really do seem to be lifelong homosexuals. One such species is the Laysan albatrosswhich nests in Hawaii, US. Among these huge birds, pairs are usually "married" for life. It takes two 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 which animals matings with one or both of the females. Like male-female pairs, these female-female pairs can only rear one animals 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 manage to animals but would struggle to incubate her egg and find food.

    And sexuality a female forms a pair-bond, the species' tendency towards monogamy animals 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 offspring, 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 sexuality 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. 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 often 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 ".

    But bonobo sex also plays a deeper role: it cements social bonds. 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. 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 homosexual 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 behaviours. They don't show a consistent sexual orientation. Only two species have 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. 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. Inhe described a similar sexuality in brain structure between gay and straight men. This seems quite different sexuality 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 animals males be passed on to offspring, sexuality the males do not reproduce?

    Animals short answer is that it probably doesn't benefit the homosexual males themselves, but it might benefit their relatives, who may well carry the animals 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. LeVay suggests that the same gene that sexuality homosexual behaviour in male sheep could also make females more fertile, or increase their desire to mate.

    The female siblings of homosexual sheep could even produce more offspring than average. While male sheep do show lifelong homosexual preferences, this has only been seen in domesticated sheep. It's not clear whether the same thing happens in wild sheep, and if LeVay's explanation is right it probably doesn't. Domestic sheep have been carefully bred by farmers to produce females that reproduce as often as possible, which might have given rise to the homosexual males. So LeVay and Vasey still say that humans are the only documented case of "true" homosexuality in wild animals.

    The funny thing is, biologists should have predicted this.

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    Zoologists are discovering that homosexual and bisexual activity is not Filmmakers recently went in search of homosexual wild animals as. Bisexuality Can Benefit Animals. Homosexual behavior is surprisingly common in the animal kingdom. It may be adaptive—helping animals to get along. Research indicates that bisexuality is prevalent in the animal kingdom — including courtship, affection, and parenting among same-sex animal pairs. As many.

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    Homosexual Activity Among Animals Stirs DebateScientists explore the evolution of animal homosexuality

    Homosexual behavior in animals is sexual behavior among non-human species that is interpreted as homosexual or bisexual. This may include same-sex sexual activitycourtshipaffectionpair bondingand parenting among same-sex animal pairs.

    The sexual behavior of non-human animals takes many different forms, even within the same species, though homosexual behavior is best known from social species. Scientists perceive homosexual behavior in animals to different degrees. The motivations for and implications of these behaviors have yet to be fully understood. Thus, animals homosexual orientation, if one can speak of such thing in animals, seems to be a rarity. According to Bagemihlsame-sex behavior comprising courtship, sexual, pair-bonding, and parental activities has been documented in over species of animals worldwide.

    The term homosexual was coined by Karl-Maria Kertbeny in to describe same-sex sexual attraction and sexual behavior in humans. According to Bruce Bagemihlwhen describing animals, the term homosexual is preferred over gaylesbianand other terms currently in use, as these are seen as even more bound to human homosexuality. Bailey et al. In humans, the term is used to describe individual sexual behaviors as well as long-term relationships, but in some usages connotes a gay or lesbian social identity.

    Scientific writing would benefit from reserving this anthropomorphic term for humans and not using it to describe behavior in other animals, because of its deeply rooted context in human society". Animal preference and motivation is always inferred from behavior. In wild animals, researchers will as a rule not be able to map the entire life of an individual, and must infer from frequency of single observations of behavior.

    In most instances, it is presumed that sexuality homosexual behavior is but part of the animal's overall sexual behavioral repertoire, making sexuality animal "bisexual" rather than "homosexual" as the terms are commonly understood in humans. The observation of homosexual behavior in animals can be seen as both an argument for and against the acceptance of homosexuality in humans, and has been used especially against the claim that it is a peccatum contra naturam "sin against nature".

    For instance, homosexuality in animals was cited by the American Psychiatric Association and other groups in their amici curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texaswhich ultimately struck down the sodomy laws of 14 states.

    A majority of the research available concerning homosexual behavior in animals lacks specification between animals that animals exhibit same-sex tendencies and those that participate in heterosexual and homosexual mating activities interchangeably. This lack of distinction has led to differing opinions and conflicting interpretations of collected data amongst scientists and researchers.

    For instance, Bruce Bagemihlauthor of the book Biological Exuberence: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversityemphasizes that animals are no anatomical or endocrinological differences between exclusively homosexual and exclusively heterosexual animal pairs. Many of the animals used in laboratory-based studies of homosexuality do not appear to spontaneously exhibit these tendencies often in the wild.

    Such behavior is often elicited and exaggerated by the researcher during experimentation through the destruction of a portion of brain tissue, or by exposing the animal to high levels of steroid hormones prenatally. Homosexual behaviour in animals has been discussed since classical antiquity. The earliest written mention of animal homosexuality appears to animals back to 2, years ago, when Aristotle — BC described copulation between pigeons, partridges and quails of the same sex.

    Until recent times [ when? The true extent of homosexuality in animals is not known. No species has been found in which homosexual behaviour has not been shown to exist, with the exception of species that never have sex at all, such as sea urchins and aphis. Moreover, a part of the animal kingdom is hermaphroditic, truly bisexual. For them, homosexuality is not an issue. An example of overlooking homosexual behavior is noted by Bagemihl describing mating giraffes where nine out of ten pairings occur between males:.

    Every male that sniffed a female was reported as sex, while anal intercourse with orgasm between males was only "revolving around" dominance, competition or greetings. Some researchers believe this behavior to have its origin in male social organization and social dominance, similar to the dominance traits shown in prison sexuality. Others have argued that social organization theory animals inadequate because it cannot account for some homosexual behaviors, for example, penguin species where male individuals mate for life and refuse to pair with females when given the chance.

    In fact, apparent homosexual individuals are known from all of the traditional domestic species, from sheep, cattle and horses to cats, dogs and budgerigars. A definite physiological explanation or reason for homosexual activity in animal species has not been agreed upon by researchers in the field.

    Numerous scholars are of the opinion that varying levels either higher or lower of the sex hormones in the sexuality, [34] in addition to the size of the animal's gonads, [21] play a direct role in the sexual behavior and preference exhibited by that animal. Others firmly argue no evidence to support these claims exists when comparing animals of a specific species exhibiting homosexual behavior exclusively and those that do not.

    Ultimately, empirical support from comprehensive endocrinological studies exist for both interpretations. Additional studies pertaining to hormone involvement in homosexual behavior indicate that when administering treatments of testosterone and estradiol to female heterosexual animals, the elevated hormone levels increase the likelihood of homosexual behavior.

    Additionally, boosting the levels of sex hormones during an animal's pregnancy appears to increase the likelihood of it birthing a homosexual offspring.

    Researchers found that disabling the fucose mutarotase FucM gene in laboratory mice — which influences the levels of estrogen to which the brain is exposed — caused the female mice to behave as if they were male as they grew up. However, in addition to homosexual behavior, animals abnormal behaviors were also exhibited apparently due to this mutation.

    In Marchresearch showed that serotonin is involved in the mechanism of sexual orientation of mice. An estimated one-quarter of all black swans pairings are of males. They steal nests, or form temporary threesomes with females to obtain eggs, driving away the female after she lays the eggs. The males spent animals in each other's society, guarded the common territory, performed greeting ceremonies before each other, and in the reproductive period pre-marital rituals, and if one of the birds tried to sit on the other, an intense fight began.

    The same reasoning has been applied to male flamingo pairs raising chicks. Female albatross, on the north-western tip of the island of Oahu, Hawaii, form pairs for co-growing offspring. Research has shown that the environmental pollutant methylmercury can increase the prevalence of sexuality behavior in male American white ibis. The study involved exposing chicks in varying dosages to the chemical and measuring the degree of homosexual behavior in adulthood.

    The results discovered was that as the dosage was increased the likelihood of homosexual behavior also increased. The endocrine blocking feature of mercury has been suggested as a possible cause of sexual disruption in other bird species. Mallards form male-female pairs only until the female lays eggs, at which time the male leaves the female. Penguins have been observed to engage in homosexual behaviour since at least as early as The report was considered too shocking for public release at the time, and was suppressed.

    The only copies that were made available privately to researchers were translated into Greek, to prevent this knowledge becoming more widely known. The report was unearthed only a century later, sexuality published in Polar Record in June In early February the New York Times reported that Roy and Siloanimals male pair of chinstrap penguins in the Central Park Zoo in New York City had successfully hatched and fostered a female chick from a fertile egg they had been given to incubate.

    In Odense Zoo in Denmark, a pair of male king penguins adopted an egg that had been abandoned by a female, proceeding to incubate it and raise the chick. Researchers at Rikkyo University in Tokyo found 20 homosexual pairs at 16 major aquariums and zoos in Japan. The Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany attempted to encourage reproduction of endangered Humboldt penguins by importing females from Sweden and separating three male pairs, but this was unsuccessful.

    The zoo's director said that the relationships were "too strong" between the homosexual pairs. A pair of male Magellanic penguins who had shared a burrow for six years at the San Francisco Zoo and raised a surrogate chick, split when the male of a pair in the next burrow died and the female sought a new mate.

    Buddy and Pedro, a pair of male African penguinswere separated by the Toronto Zoo to mate with female penguins. Chupchikoni was assumed to be male until her blood was tested.

    In Jumbs and Hurricane, two Humboldt penguins at Wingham Wildlife Park became the center of international media attention as two male penguins who had pair bonded a number of years earlier and sexuality successfully hatched and reared an egg given to them as surrogate parents after the mother abandoned it halfway through incubation.

    In Thelma and Louisetwo female King Penguins at Kelly Tarltons in Auckland, New Zealandhave been in a sexuality for 8 years, when most of the other eligible penguins switch partners each mating season, regardless of their orientation, are both taking care of an egg that Thelma recently hatched, but is unknown whether it was fertilized. In two male griffon animals named Dashik and Yehuda, at the Jerusalem Biblical Zooengaged in "open and energetic sex" and built a nest.

    The keepers provided the couple with an artificial egg, which the two parents took sexuality incubating; and 45 days later, the zoo replaced the egg with a baby vulture. The two male vultures raised the chick together. Dashik became depressed, and was eventually moved to animals zoological research garden at Tel Aviv University where he too set up a nest with a female vulture. Two male vultures at the Allwetter Zoo in Muenster built a nest together, although they were picked on and their nest materials were often stolen by other vultures.

    They were eventually separated to try to promote breeding by placing one of them with female vultures, despite the protests of German homosexual groups. Both male and female pigeons sometimes exhibit homosexual behavior. In addition to sexual behavior, same-sex pigeon pairs will build nests, and hens will lay infertile eggs and attempt to incubate them. The Amazon river dolphin or boto has been reported to form up in bands of 3—5 individuals engaging in sexual activity. The groups usually comprise young males and sometimes one or two females.

    Sex is often performed in non-reproductive ways, using snout, flippers and animals rubbing, without regard sexuality gender. Courtship, mounting, and full anal penetration between bulls has been noted to occur among American bison.

    The Mandan nation Okipa festival sexuality with a ceremonial enactment of this behavior, to "ensure the return of the buffalo in the coming season". The behaviour is hormone driven sexuality synchronizes with the emergence of estrus heatparticularly in the presence of a bull. More than 20 species of bat have been documented to engage in homosexual behavior. Bat species that have been observed engaging in homosexual behavior in captivity include the Comoro flying fox Pteropus livingstoniithe Rodrigues flying fox Pteropus rodricensis and the common vampire bat Desmodus rotundus.

    Homosexual behavior in bats has been categorized into 6 groups: mutual homosexual grooming and licking, homosexual masturbation, homosexual play, homosexual mounting, coercive sex, and cross-species homosexual sex.

    In the wild, the grey-headed flying fox Pteropus poliocephalus engages in allogrooming wherein one partner licks and gently bites the chest and wing membrane of the other partner. Both sexes display this form of mutual homosexual grooming and it is more common in males. Males often have erect penises while they are mutually grooming each other. In wild Bonin flying foxes Pteropus pselaphonmales perform fellatio or 'male-male genital licking' on other males. Male—male genital licking events occur repeatedly several times in the same pair, and reciprocal genital licking also occurs.

    The male-male genital licking in these bats is considered a sexual behavior. Allogrooming in Bonin flying foxes has never been observed, hence the male-male genital licking in this species does not seem to be a by-product of allogrooming, but rather a behavior of directly licking the male genital area, independent of allogrooming.

    In wild Indian flying foxes Pteropus giganteusmales often mount one another, with erections and thrusting, while play-wrestling.

    A similar behavior was also observed in the common bent-wing bat Miniopterus schreibersii. In wild little brown animals Myotis lucifugusmales often mount other males and females during late autumn and winter, when many of the mounted individuals are torpid.

    The lethargic males, like females, called out loudly and presented their buccal glands with opened mouth during copulation. I have even seen homosexuality between Natterer's and Daubenton's bats Myotis nattereri and M.

    Dolphins of several species engage in sexuality acts, though it is best studied in the bottlenose dolphins. Janet Mann, Georgetown University professor of biology and psychology, argues that the strong personal behavior among male dolphin calves is about bond formation and benefits the species in an evolutionary context.