by Staff writer
If you already didn’t know, homosexual behavior is a nearly universal phenomenon in the animal kingdom.
Homosexuality has been found in 1,500 species of animals through behaviour observation research studies.
Scientists are also speculating there are even more species yet unknown that engage in homosexual behaviors.
Here is a list of top 12 animals that exhibit homosexual behavior:
Penguins have been observed to engage in homosexual behaviour since at least as early as 1911. George Murray Levick, who documented this behaviour in Adélie penguins at Cape Adare, described it as “depraved”.
The report was considered too shocking for public release at the time, and was suppressed. The only copies that were made available privately to researchers were translated into Greek, to prevent this knowledge from becoming more widely known. The report was unearthed only a century later, and published in Polar Record in June 2012.
Both male and female pigeons sometimes exhibit homosexual behavior. In addition to sexual behavior, same-sex pigeon pairs often come together and build nests. Hens will lay (infertile) eggs and attempt to incubate them.
Bonobos, which have a matriarchal society, unusual among apes, are a fully bisexual species—both males and females engage in heterosexual and homosexual behavior. Though they are particularly noted for female–female homosexuality. Roughly 60% of all bonobo sexual activity occurs between two or more females.
While the homosexual bonding system in bonobos represents the highest frequency of homosexuality known in any species, homosexuality has also been reported for all great apes (a group which includes humans), as well as a number of other primate species.
Both African and Asian male elephants engage in same-sex bonding and mounting. Such encounters are often associated with affectionate interactions, such as kissing, trunk intertwining, and placing trunks in each other’s mouths.
Unlike heterosexual relations, which are always of a short-lived nature, the relationships between male elephants may last for years.
Male giraffes have been observed to engage in remarkably high frequencies of homosexual behavior. After aggressive “necking”, it is common for two male giraffes to caress and court each other, leading up to mounting and climax. Such interactions between males have been found to be more frequent than heterosexual coupling.
In one study, up to 94% of observed mounting incidents took place between two males.
Both male and female lions have been seen to interact homosexually. Male lions pair-bond for a number of days and initiate homosexual activity with affectionate nuzzling and caressing, leading to mounting and thrusting. About 8% of mountings have been observed to occur with other males.
Male lions in Africa have been observed disregarding available lionesses in order to form their own same-sex prides. These same males have also been seen mounting one another and doing other actions commonly associated with male to female mating interactions.
Several subspecies of dolphins form gay or bisexual relationships. There was one researcher that discovered the incredible 17-year gay relationship between two male dolphins. Researchers have also found pods of all male dolphins who share sexual and romantic experiences together. Dolphins are known to be highly flirtatious and sexualised.
Male dogs have been seen engaging in homosexual sex. They mount each other, and mounting can sometimes involve full anal penetration. When exposed to a female in heat, groups of frustrated male dogs sometimes engage in homosexual sex.
Though this behavior does not necessarily suggest a permanent preference for members of the same sex, there are, however, male dogs that show a lifelong indifference to estrous females and never have heterosexual sex in their lives.
Bats from vampire bats to fruit bats and flying fox bats can be extremely gay in nature. They are even said to have the highest percentage of gayness above all other animals, including humans. Both male and female bats engage in gay behaviors which include affection, sexual activity and bonding.
10. Black swans
An estimated one-quarter of all black swans pairings are of homosexual males. They steal nests, or form temporary threesomes with females to obtain eggs, driving away the female after she lays the eggs.
More of their cygnets (young swans) survive to adulthood than those of different-sex pairs, possibly due to their superior ability to defend large portions of land. The same reasoning has been applied to male flamingo pairs raising chicks.
Perhaps not the sexiest of creatures, snails are a recent addition to the sexually and gender-diverse world of the animal kingdom.
The Aegista diversifamilia snail, which was discovered as a species of its own around ten years ago is so gay it was named after the global equal rights to marriage movement.
Bears have been many times observed in same-sex activity. Various species of bear including brown and black bears have been observed pairing up in same-sex partnerships.
Two male bears were last year observed regularly having oral sex at a wildlife sanctuary in Croatia!