Dolphins, sex

From: Dagmar Fertl (
Date: Fri Mar 09 2001 - 19:28:40 EST


I read somewhere that dolphins are the only creatures besides humans that have sex for the sake of having sex, as opposed for procreative purposes. Is this true?

Sex is a complicated thing. Whenever a dolphin biologist sees dolphins have sex, we called it "socio-sexual" behavior, since we do not know if the sex is for reproductive purposes or social purposes. Kind of the equivalent of a handshake for dolphins. Sex is observed between mothers and their calves, females and males, males and males, and females and females. Basically, sex is also for social purposes for them. I guess you could liken it to the way it is for some people.
Be aware that chimpanzees are known to have sex for social purposes as well - in conflict resolution type matters. Frans de Waal has done some interesting work on this topic - Chimpanzee Politics is an excellent book that I highly recommend.
Hope this answers your question.

Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Feb 25 2002 - 21:05:59 EST