Scientists in Western Australia have witnessed large groups of dolphins engaged in “gay behavior” after the breeding season has ended.
The Mandurah Dolphin Research Project discovered male Bottlenose dolphins’mounting’ and ‘having g.en.it.al contact’ with each other after breeding season.
‘These dolphins, all but three of which were juveniles, organized themselves into four subgroups in which they were observed engaged in socio-sexual behavior such as mounting and g.en.ital contact between individuals,’ Murdoch University’s Krista Nicholson told the Mandurah Mail.
‘The subgroups merged, frequently forming a huge group, and then separated into diverse group compositions,’ says the author.
She described the behavior as characteristic of Bottlenose dolphins, which can be found in tropical oceans and warm waters worldwide.
Bisexual behavior and hints of a social hierarchy have been found by scientists studying the Bottlenose dolphin community in Shark Bay, Western Australia.
‘Aside from gay conduct, men in Shark Bay, unlike females, have been reported to undertake synchronized displays,’ Ms Nicholson noted.
She claims that two male dolphins in Shark Bay are more likely to mate for life than two female dolphins or two dolphins of different genders.
Unsurprisingly, homosexual behavior also plays a role in male dolphin dominance, aiding in the formation of’social connections.’
Ms Nicholson’s study team was ecstatic to discover the parallels between Mandurah and Shark Bay dolphins.
According to NewsWeek, observing another group of dolphins in the same location exhibiting the same behavior will aid their investigation into how and why the gay behavior happens.
Janet Mann, a dolphin scientist who has spent decades observing dolphins at Shark Bay, suggests in her book that homosexual interaction between male dolphins is ‘practice’ for mating season.
‘Our grasp of the social structure and relationships in a broader context would suggest that male-male socio-sexual interactions are…practicing mature courtship behaviors.’
Ms Mann also claims that the behavior serves several purposes, including ‘fitness’ and ‘alliance formation.’