The sexual practice of bats

Some things you just got to read because of the headline alone. This one was a winner. Google oral sex, tequila and bats and this is the Slate story that comes up. Bats are pretty cool critters. They just get a bad rap because of that vampire, blood-sucking image thing. The truth is vampire bats don’t live north of Mexico. Well, now you also know that bats practice cunnilingus and fellatio before, during and after the main event. We actually tracked down this story to the scientific paper which begins with the very quotable opening paragraph: Although it is widely used in human foreplay, oral sex has rarely been recorded in non-human animals. Oral sex occurs infrequently between juvenile males or between juvenile females and juvenile males as play in bonobos Pan paniscus [1], [2]. Hence, to date evidence for an adaptive explanation for oral sex in animals has been lacking, and the behaviour has been considered largely specific to humans, or associated with play. Here we provide evidence that oral sex by females on males (fellatio) is routine during copulation in short-nosed fruit bats Cynopterus sphinx (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae), and we argue that is likely to confer adaptive benefits.

h/t Slate

photo illustration: Guangdong Entomological Institute

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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