Dolphin news: Major study finds animals have sex for FUN – similar to humans | Science | News


The research, carried out by Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts found that bottlenose dolphins have a clitoris like structure in the vaginal entrance, which includes a complex series of nerves and erectile tissue. For the study, researchers carried out a detailed analysis on the clitorises of 11 females that had died naturally and found strong evidence to support the organ’s functionality. This work revealed many similarities between the dolphin’s structure and a female human’s clitoris, specifically the erectile tissue looks like that of a human, which means it likely plays a role in providing pleasure.

Within the dolphin’s tissue is space for blood to rush, allowing the area to inflate and the clitoris-like structure to become hard.

Dolphins, also like humans, have sex not just for reproducing but also for bonding and pleasure.

Patricia Brennan of Mount Holyoke College said: “Every time we dissected a vagina, we would see this very large clitoris, and we were curious whether anyone had examined it in detail to see if it worked like a human clitoris.”

She added: “We knew that dolphins have sex not just to reproduce, but also to solidify social bonds, so it seemed likely that the clitoris could be functional.”

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The first feature was the presence of erectile tissue structures, with many blood vessels.

Ms Brennan also said: “What that means is these are tissues that actually engorge with blood, very much like a penis, and the human clitoris.”

Brennan also said they found two different types of erectile tissue, the same as in humans.

One is called the spongy tissue and the other is the corpora cavernosa.
The expert commented: “What is interesting is that when we looked at [dolphin] adults and compared them with the juveniles and calves, the adults have this s-shape in their clitoris body that is probably straightened when it becomes hard.”

Because this is not present in juveniles and calves, she believes “this has some kind of reproduction function.”

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Ms Brennan and her team also found very large nerve bundles under the skin that is three times thinner than in the adjacent regions.

This means this area is more sensitive.

The final discovery was the genital corpuscles, which are sensory structures found in the human clitoris and penis.

“Those [the genital corpuscles] are there specifically for pleasure,
“This is all pretty good evidence that dolphins are experiencing pleasure through clitoris stimulation.”

The researchers note that there’s been little study of the clitoris and female sexual pleasure in nature. In fact, even the human clitoris was not fully described until the 1990s.

“This neglect in the study of female sexuality has left us with an incomplete picture of the true nature of sexual behaviours,” Ms Brennan said.

She added: “Studying and understanding sexual behaviours in nature is a fundamental part of understanding the animal experience and may even have important medical applications in the future.”

Bottlenose dolphins have also been found to get sexually aggressive with humans.

Just last year, UK officials warned swimmers to watch out for a dolphin named Nick that was acting sexually toward people.

And in 2020, footage surfaced of a woman who was unexpectedly mounted by a dolphin.

Travel agent Pripri Rose, 36, from Miami, Florida, was enjoying a holiday in Varadero, Cuba, when she decided to visit the local aquarium alongside mum Magda.

The footage showed the dolphin surfacing from the water and appearing to simulate intercourse with the tourist.





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