Gorillas, the Missionary Position, and Oral Sex

To steal a line from my blog buddy Duane, I find this Science Daily article abnormally interesting. Fair warning, this post is probably not work or child safe.


According to the Science Daily report gorillas have been observed in the wild having sex in the ventral position. One of the gorillas involved, a gorilla named Leah, is the gorilla that used a long stick to probe the depth of a pool of water. In a recent post I mentioned, and quoted from, a book by Bernard Campbell (Human Evolution: An Introduction to Man’s Adaptations). Part of the reason I got the book out was because this story reminded me of something I read in it. Took a while to find it, but here it is:

There is no doubt that in some animals the function of the clitoris is to raise the level of sexual excitement to the point necessary for effective intromission. The gorilla is reported (Schaller 1963 [The Mountain Gorilla Ecology and Behavior - afarensis]) to stimulate the female’s genital areas both orally and digitally, and in one case even to stimulate the breast. The male chimpanzee has also been reported to stimulate the clitoris orally, resulting in its erection (Ford and Beach 1951 [Patterns of Sexual Behavior - afarensis]), but during copulation it receives no further direct stimulation.

One wonders if this (oral sex) is a shared derived trait that separates the human/chimp/gorilla clade from the orangs? Did we get this behavior from our common ancestor with the chimps and gorillas? Just goes to show, the gap between us and our fellow primates is small indeed.
Anyway, here is some gorilla porn for you:
Gorilla 5
Photo Source

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2 Responses

  1. Waka-chika-waka-chika-OW!
    HJ

  2. That Leah is an interesting one. I’ll egotistically quote from a disagreement I had with your Sci-bling Mark from Denialism Blog, over whether apes had special ethical value because of their intelligence:
    “…something I’ve not seen anywhere is a discussion about the ethical implications of intelligence distribution curves within a species, say for chimps. If they’re like humans, a small percentage are likely to be much more intelligent than average. The tiny number of great apes taught sign language probably means we’ve never encountered individuals in the top 1% of their species for intellectual ability. What are they like? What can they do? If it’s ethically disturbing (to me anyway, if not to Mark) to imagine killing Washoe in a medical experiment, what about a chimp that’s twice as smart?”
    http://backseatdriving.blogspot.com/2007/10/denialism-blog-cant-face-fire-in.html

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