Researchers Fly Away with Goofy Prize for Bat-Sex Study - Page 2
During copulation, the pair appeared to move forwards and backwards uninterruptedly and rhythmically. When a male was chewing or severing the Chinese fan-palm leaves to make a tent, or when males crawled upon the upper surface of a tent or were grooming themselves within a tent, a female would fly to the tent, stretch her wings, move her head slowly towards the male, and then sniff the male’s face and neck. Subsequently, the pair’s heads extended towards each other and the bats would lick one another.
Did these researchers enlist the help of Danielle Steel in writing their report? Well, perhaps at least portions of it. Later on, the report veers into more pornographic territory. But we won’t go there.
Scientists being scientists, much of the tail end of the report reflects the dry verbiage of science. The researchers concluded that “fellatio increases the duration of copulation.” (All of mankind must be relieved, so to speak.)
“Of course, adaptive benefits remain unproven until tested, ideally by experimentation, but our study identifies potential avenues to explore if the null hypothesis of no benefit (e.g. via low cost to donor and recipient) is to be rejected,” the researchers wrote in their oh-so-nerdy way.
The fellatio-copulation combo may have several important functions, the researchers hypothesized, such as increasing fertilization success or even reducing the risk of getting STDs. (Who knew that bats could contract STDs?)
The researchers expanded on the whole improvement-of-fertilization theory (with some bracketed commentary from yours truly):
“The behaviour [the British spelling, old chap] presumably favours [yep, that funny spelling again] the donor, although it may also benefit both partners especially if fertilization success is increased. It is conceivable [ha, really punny] that the female manipulates the male by increasing sexual stimulation, so that she ultimately benefits.”
By the way, the research was conducted (thankfully!) according to protocols endorsed by the Guangdong Entomological Institute Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care. Sarah McLachlin and the ASPCA must be delighted.