Male Japanese macaques were first filmed earlier this year mounting female sika deer in Minoo, Japan. The Minoo macaques and deer are not the only animals known to look for sex outside their own species. Antarctic fur seals have been observed trying to mate with king penguins , while types of bird, cat and dolphin has also been known to carry out the behaviour. This grooming was specifically directed to body parts that are not easily accessed by the deer. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.
The Straits Times
By Michael Marshall. Supposedly, if women live together their hormonal cycles start to synchronise, thanks to a pheromone. If that were true it would mean that they all have their period simultaneously. Just think about it. But it may not really exist. Studies have had mixed results , often reporting no synchrony at all. Assamese macaques live in troupes of a few dozen, including about a dozen adults of each sex, plus offspring. Although there are strong social bonds within the troupes, they are dominated by the males , who compete vigorously to mate with the females. The mating season runs from October to January, and the males become increasingly aggressive as it goes on. The males do show some solidarity.
Camila Domonoske. An adolescent female Japanese macaque on the back of a male sika deer. Researchers have looked into some macaques' attraction to the deer.
The discovery has prompted a lot of marveling from the media. There are numerous documented instances of animal masturbation , a habit enjoyed by primates as well as creatures including dolphins, elephants, penguins, and bats. Although the role of the sika deer adds a layer of complexity: Can a deer consent to interspecies frottage? That matter aside, there are a lot of animals out there who are, if you will, spanking the monkey. So if macaques do it, dolphins do it, birds and probably even bees do it, why do humans still have so much difficulty talking about sexual pleasure? Sex education curricula rarely venture beyond discussions of condoms, birth control, and puberty if they even cover condoms and birth control ; for many of us, the idea of discussing masturbation seems particularly prurient and unseemly. Not that I necessarily want to hear a member of the Trump Administration talking about double-clicking the mouse. Our reticence on the subject of masturbation is particularly damaging for women.