Sunday, November 21, 2004

1 - Do other animals have missionary position et al, orgasms and sex toys?

This is the first in the list that I’ll tackle. Oral sex, missionary position, orgasms and sex toys have been mostly been referred to as exlusively human activities.

You think?

Welcome to the world of BONOBOS*. This will forever change the way you view great apes. I hope. Please read (or at least take a look at) Dr. Franz de Waal article first. Him you can trust absolutely, he is the Alpha Male of bonobo primatology.

Now that you have an idea of what bonobos are (chimps), go here for pictures. The text at the bottom will also give you an easy behavioural/physiological overview that is pretty mind-blowing. Right? And now we’ve covered 1/3 of the title. For the rest, please see this site’s pictures as well (take text with a grain of salt, it’s mostly true but a bit skewed. If Dr. de Waal is your Torah, this is Chick Lit.)

As for orgasms, let me just add that it isn't only bonobos. Studies of Japanese macaques have shown that they also have them and there are some curious related facts: "When the level of physical stimulation experienced by females during copulation was statistically controlled, the highest frequency of female orgasms was found among pairs formed by high-ranking males and low-ranking females and the lowest frequency among pairs formed by low-ranking males and high-ranking females." Click here for more. Rhesus monkeys and chimps are also said to experience orgasms.

But more importantly, not only do Stump-tailed macaque females have org*sms but both females and males exhibit a distinct facial expression to go with it (also during female-female encounters); females exhibit uterine contractions as well.

Here you find annotated bibliography on the subject.

Bonobos will play an important part later on in the list. Stay tuned.


Other links:


Great apes

Lower primates or prosimians

Ape vocalizations


*Bonobos are chimps and therefore NOT monkeys. The classification is as follows:

rimates: binocular vision and very flexible limbs and digits, grasping hands, most have opposable thumbs

Anthropoids: Hominids, Apes and Monkeys
Suborders: Pro-simians (lemurs - have whiskers and extended snouts) and Anthropoids (higher primates, all others - rely on vision rather than scent)

Hominids - bipeds (erect locomotion) (but bonobos will too at times) (and chimps struck by polio will adapt and walk erect - J. Goodall)

Apes (gorillas, chimps, orang-utans, gibbons, siamangs) robust, larger bodies, more upright posture, no tails, no hard rump pads, good climbers, terrestrial (oranges are arboreal), dextrous hands with opposable thumbs AND toes (we lost it), omnivorous, build sleeping nests every night, fewer offsping who mature slower, VERY complex brains

Monkeys - most have tails, skeletons closer to carnivores’, most cannot swing from branches bcs shoulder articulation doesn’t allow it, some carnivores

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At 21/11/04 20:41, Blogger ontheface said...

This is really fascinating: file under "I had no IDEA." And BTW, you do realize that every other freak in the blogosphere is going to find you on the search engines now, right?

At 22/11/04 11:58, Blogger Ana said...

I don't know what exactly makes us unique but the fact that Samuel no longer needs donations (for now) is a pretty impressive one. I am so proud of our country sometimes!

At 24/11/04 19:49, Blogger squarepeg said...

I'm really finding the bonobos fascinating. Particularly their "enlightened" sociosexual behavior: sex (and food) to keep the peace. So why doesn't it work for us humans? (Ok, I suppose it does mostly work on the microscosmic level, doesn't it?) Would it work for bonobos on a big scale, or are they like us in that way too? Somehow I doubt that humans could be civil even as an endangered species of small numbers.


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