As I learn more about the beings of this planet , I realise there is no difference between humans and animals and insects. The only difference is perhaps our utter destructiveness. Here is another example of our similarity. While countries whose citizens have their social security guaranteed waste time on making laws on ridiculous issues like abortion and homosexuality, the rest of the animal world takes these issues as natural. University of Oslo’s Natural History Museum inNorway has put up a first-ever museum display “Against Nature,” which presents 51 species of animals exhibiting homosexuality. Homosexuality is defined as sex between two or more members of the same sex in the same species.
In dragonflies, spiders, crabs, shellfish, gutworms, bats, whales and dolphins far from being unnatural, homosexuality is a normal part of the animal world. “Homosexuality” and “heterosexuality” are terms defined by human societies. These boundaries are invisible in the animal kingdom. Homosexual and bisexual animals range from mountain gorillas to cats, dogs and guinea pigs. The animal kingdom rejoices in all kinds of lifestyles. Studies of animal homosexuality date back hundreds of years. In 1896, French entomologist Henri Gadeau de Kerville published a drawing of two male scarab beetles copulating. During the early 1900s, investigators described homosexual behavior in baboons, salmon,garter snakes and gentoo penguins. In 1914 Gilbert Hamilton reported in the Journal of Animal Behaviour that same-sex behaviour in Japanese macaques and baboons occurred largely as a way of making peace with would-be foes. He wrote “homosexual alliances between mature and immature males insure the assistance of an adult defender in the event of an attack.” How similar to the “insurance” bonding of humans in jail !
In 1999 Bruce Bagemihl, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin, published a book, ‘Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity’. Bagemihl found that homosexuality had been documented in 1,500 species. The earliest mention of animal homosexuality probably came 2,300 years ago when Aristotle described two female hyenas cavorting with each other. Not only does homosexual behaviour exist in nearly every species (as demonstrated by thousands of studies beginning with Konrad Lorenz, the father of modern zoology) but as one goes up the evolutionary ladder from less sophisticated creatures to humans, homosexual activity increases in frequency.
Not only does homosexual behaviour exist in nearly every species (as demonstrated by thousands of studies beginning with Konrad Lorenz, the father of modern zoology) but as one goes up the evolutionary ladder from less sophisticated creatures to humans, homosexual activity increases in frequency .
Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan are inseparable. They entwine their necks, vocalise to each other, they have sex. When offered female companionship, they have adamantly refused. The females aren’t interested in them, either. At one time, the two were so desperate to incubate an egg together that they put a rock in their nest and sat on it, keeping it warm with their abdomens. Finally, the keeper gave them a fertile egg to hatch. A chick, Tango, was born. They raised Tango, keeping her warm and feeding her until she could go out into the world on her own.
A pair of gay vultures at the Jerusalem Zoo have shown the world just how caring gay adoptive parents can be. Israeli zoologist Shmuel Yidov slipped a day-old vulture chick into their nest. The two fathers reared the baby. They shaded him on hot days, brought him water from a pond, fed him, stopped him falling from the nest. Biology professor Joan Roughgarden at Stanford University, in her book “Evolution’s Rainbow” says, mating isn’t only about multiplying. Like humans, animals have sex just for fun or love or to cement their social bonds.
Some female grizzly bears form partnerships, travel together, defend each other, raise cubs together and put off hibernation in an attempt to stay together longer.
Scientists have found homosexual behaviour throughout the animal world. Same sex pairs of animals kiss and caress each other with obvious tenderness. Male pairs and female pairs form long-lasting pair-bonds and even fight off potential opposite sex partners when they appear. Members of the pair show distress at being separated from their partners and joy when reunited. Even when they lose their same sex partner, white-fronted Amazon parrots will not revert. So will gay Long-eared hedgehogs, Stellar’s sea eagles and barn owls,.
Swans are the symbols of eternal romantic love. But one fifth of the couples are all male or all female. Male couples mate with a female just to have a baby. Once she lays the egg, they chase her away, hatch the egg, and raise a family on their own. Sometimes they steal the eggs and become model parents. Male flamingoes and other birds will have one-night stands with females to produce eggs, then chase off the mother and rear the offspring with another male. Twelve per cent of roseate tern couples are female-female pairs who fertilise their eggs through a quick fling with males, and then remain faithful to each other for years. Five per cent of geese and duck couples do the same. Single females will lay eggs in a homosexual pair’s nest. In a colony of black-headed gulls, every tenth pair is lesbian. Fifteen per cent of female western gulls are gay. They woo each other with gifts of food and form bonds that last for years. They build joint nests. Occasionally, one or both females will mate with males, but they always raise their young together. Two per cent of male ostriches ignore females and court males with a dance that involves running toward the chosen partner, skidding to a stop in front of him, pirouetting, crouching, rocking, fluffing feathers, puffing their throats and twisting their necks like a corkscrew.
Male giraffes spend most of their time in bachelor groups, where they entwine necks and rub against each other for hours at a time. These “necking” sessions often culminate in mounting. Homosexuality is common among young male dolphin calves. According to researchers, since male-male cooperation is extremely important for adult survival, the homosexual behavior of the young calves could be aimed at establishing lifelong bonds.
Male walruses, often form homosexual pair bonds and have sex with each other outside of the breeding season, but will revert to a heterosexual pattern during the normal breeding season. Male big horn sheep live in “homosexual societies.” If a male sheep chooses to not have gay sex, he becomes a social outcast ! The male and female bighorn sheep unite during the rutting season, but the rest of the year the males stick together.
The more social the species, the more likely it is to engage in homosexual activity, the exhibition argues. “Many social animals have complex social systems where individuals seek out allies for help and protection. Sex is an important way of strengthening the alliance.”
In fact, advanced animal communities, which require communal bonds in order to function are more likely to have homosexuality intermixed with heterosexuality. Japanese Macaque society revolves around females, who dominate the group. Males come and go. To help maintain the necessary social networks, female macaques are lesbian. These friendly copulations, form the bedrock of macaque society, preventing unnecessary violence and aggression. In fact females will choose to mate with another female, as opposed to a male, 92.5 per cent of the time.
Bonobos dwarf chimpanzees engage in sexual behavior to ease social tensions and avoid conflict. For instance, if two bonobos approach a box thrown into their enclosure, they will mount each other before playing with the box. Such situations lead to squabbles in most other species. But bonobos use sex to diffuse tension. In ‘Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape’, primatologist Frans de Waal writes that he has observed hundreds of such incidents, suggesting that these homosexual acts may be a general peacekeeping strategy. “The more homosexuality, the more peaceful the species,” asserts Petter Böckman of the University of Oslo’s Museum ofNatural History in Norway.
Bisexuality is the norm among male chimps. A male chimp forms a long-term partnership with another male. They mate with females regularly but their closest relationship is with each other.
Other animals mount animals of the same sex but their motivation may diffe. Dogs usually do so to express dominance. Domesticated cattle mount each other as stress relieving behaviour. Male lions often band together with their brothers to lead the pride. To ensure loyalty, they strengthen the bonds by having sex with each other.
A statement in the exhibition says, ” One thing is clear homosexuality is found throughout the animal kingdom, it is not against nature.”