HomeHome  Main PageMain Page  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 When animals come out of the closet

Go down 
AuthorMessage
ravengrim
Moderator
avatar

Virgo Rat
Number of posts : 7192
Age : 46
Location : At The End Of Time
: : The Fallen Angel
: :
More Numbers : 5019240
Registration date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: When animals come out of the closet   Mon May 03, 2010 9:18 pm

The love that daren't squawk its name: When animals come out of the closet

The laysan albatross is a downy seabird with a seven-foot wingspan and a notched, pale-yellow beak. Every November, a small colony of albatrosses assembles at a place called Kaena Point, overlooking the Pacific at the foot of a volcanic range, on the northwestern tip of Oahu, Hawaii. Each bird has spent the past six months in solitude, ranging over open water as far north as Alaska, and has come back to the breeding ground to reunite with its mate. Albatrosses can live to be 60 or 70 years old and typically mate with the same bird every year, for life. Their "divorce rate", as biologists term it, is among the lowest of any bird.

When I visited Kaena Point in November, the first birds were just returning. There are about 120 breeding albatrosses in the colony, and gradually, each will arrive and feel out the crowd for the one other particular albatross it has been waiting to have sex with again. Once together, pairs will copulate and collaboratively incubate a single egg for 65 days.

Speaking on Oahu a few years ago as First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush – the wife of George W – praised Laysan albatross couples for making lifelong commitments to one another. But Lindsay C Young, a biologist who studies the Kaena Point colony, told me: "They were supposed to be icons of monogamy: one male and one female. But I wouldn't assume that what you're looking at is a male and a female."

Young has been researching the albatrosses on Oahu since 2003; the colony was the focus of her doctoral dissertation at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, which she completed last spring. (She now works on conservation projects as a biologist for hire.) In the course of her doctoral work, Young and a colleague discovered, almost incidentally, that a third of the pairs at Kaena Point actually consisted of two female birds, not one male and one female. Laysan albatrosses are one of countless species in which the two sexes look basically identical. It turned out that many of the female-female pairs, at Kaena Point and at a colony that Young's colleague studied on Kauai, had been together for four, eight or even 19 years – as far back as the biologists' data went, in some cases. The female-female pairs had been incubating eggs together, rearing chicks and just generally passing under everybody's nose for what you might call "straight" couples.

Young would never use the phrase "straight couples". And she is adamantly against calling the other birds "lesbians" too. For one thing, the same-sex pairs appear to do everything male-female pairs do except have sex, and Young isn't really sure, or comfortable judging, whether that technically qualifies them as lesbians or not. But moreover, the whole question is meaningless to her; it has nothing to do with her research. "'Lesbian,"' she told me, "is a human term."

A discovery like Young's can disorient a wildlife biologist in the most thrilling way – if he or she takes it seriously, which has traditionally not been the case. Various forms of same-sex sexual activity have been recorded in more than 450 different species of animals by now, from flamingos to bison to beetles to guppies to warthogs. Within most species, homosexual sex has been documented only sporadically, and there appear to be few cases of individual animals who engage in it exclusively. For more than a century, this kind of observation was usually tacked on to scientific papers as a curiosity, if it was reported at all, and not pursued as a legitimate research subject.


The story is kind of long.
It continues if you're interested at the link.

_________________
”Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." ~H. L. Mencken


@themorrigan1972
Back to top Go down
View user profile
 
When animals come out of the closet
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Fantasia Animals
» A mare thats in heat...
» Animal of any kind! Been what YOU want! (Needs Members)
» Crimson Tainted Snow...
» SteamBoat Willie: The Cruelty Begins

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
TheDarkRealm :: the threads :: Politics & World Events-
Jump to: