Scientists have reported witnessing homosexual behavior in dolphins in the past, but haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact reasons for the same-sex acts. But after spotting a big group of bottlenose dolphins engaging in homosexual activity in Australia, a group of researchers are determined to get some answers.
Members of the Mandurah Dolphin Research Project reported that after the recent mating season was over, they spotted the male mammals spending quality time with one another.
“These dolphins, all but three of them juveniles, organized themselves in four subgroups in which they were observed engaging in socio-sexual behavior that included mounting and genital contact between individuals,” Murdoch University’s Krista Nicholson told the Mandurah Mail.
Nicholson went on to say that this is common behavior that’s been witnessed in other groups of bottlenose dolphins, including those that have been studied in Shark Bay, according to Newsweek.
“Apart from homosexual behavior, males, unlike females, in Shark Bay have also been recorded to perform synchronous displays,” she added. “In Shark Bay, where male dolphins form lifelong alliances, socio-sexual interactions between males are more common than between females or between the sexes.”
Nicholson reported that they’ll need to find other groups of dolphins in similar areas that also engage in this behavior in order to better understand it, but suggests that the same-sex acts play a role in developing social bonds between the males by aiding them in establishing both dominance and alliances.
Another theory is that male dolphins engage in same-sex acts in order to practice mating. But at the end of the day, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of it simply feeling good.