Continued from Friday a bit more from my book called Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel, and chapter 19 titled, Animals and Us.
Single-celled organisms reproduce by dividing, bumping up against each other, and the like. The more advanced the species, the more complex the reproductive process. “While some biologists have labeled humans the sexiest of animals, it is clear that there are few if any ways in which we are truly unique. Animal research often shows the close ties we have with our animal relatives and that there is rarely anything totally new in human or animal behavior.”
Apes and monkeys mate face to face, just like humans – a rarity among non-human primates. On the flip side, most insects mate lying in opposite directions, only maintaining genital contact. Porpoises engage in “group sex” with two males and one female participating. Amazingly, there are female chimpanzees that have been documented as having sex with eight different males in a span of 15 minutes. Some have had up to 84 encounters in eight days with seven different partners.
And, while it is somewhat uncommon in the animal kingdom, we certainly do not have a monopoly on monogamy . Lovebirds, wolves, beavers and swans are all known to mate for life. But monogamy in the animal world is a bit different than in ours. The main concern is the care and safety of the offspring; while many of these species live together for life, they do not often remain sexually one-partner creatures. Once babies are old enough to be self-sufficient, or only need one parent, even “monogamous” animals split up. A recent study of divorce rates in the U.S. showed that humans are beginning to follow that trend, with most of the couples surveyed separating when the youngest children are beginning school.
I have decided to post a some more of Chapter 19 Sunday.
To be continued.