Male Bottlenose Dolphins often form lifelong pair-bonds with each other. Adolescent and younger males typically live in all-male groups in which homosexual activity is common; within these groups, a male begins to develop a strong bond with a particular partner (usually of the same age) with whom he will spend the rest of his life. The two Dolphins become constant companions, often traveling widely; although sexual activity probably declines as they get older, it may continue to be a regular feature of such partnerships. Paired males sometimes take turns guarding or remaining vigilant while their partner rests. They also defend their mates against predators such as sharks and protect them while they are healing from wounds inflicted during preclators' attacks. Sometimes three males form a tightly bonded trio. On the death of his partner, a male may spend a long time searching for a new male companion—usually unsuccessfully, since most other males in the community are already paired and will not break their bonds. If, however, he can find another "widower" whose male partner has died, the two may become a couple...
The lives of male Bottlenose Dolphins are characterized by extensive bisexuality, combined with periods of exclusive homosexuality. As adolescents and young males, they have regular homosexual interactions in all-male groups, sometimes alternating with heterosexual activity. From age 10 onward, most male Dolphins form pair-bonds with another male, and because they do not usually father calves until they are 20-25 years old, this can be an extended period—10-15 years—of principally same-sex interaction. Later, when they begin mating heterosexually, they still retain their primary male pair-bonds, and in some populations male pairs and trios cooperate in herding females or in interacting homosexually with Spotted Dolphins.
(Excerpt from the book "Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity" by Bruce Bagemihl.)
Friday, May 11, 2007
Homosexuality in dolphins
This is quite interesting: