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Sexual Lives of Dolphins are Complex and Full of Drama

Most people know dolphins are intelligent creatures and now a study reports complex sexual fluidity in long term social relationships between male dolphins.

Following 120 dolphins for five years in the Shark Bay of Western Australia scientists from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth have discovered homosexual and bisexual habits among groups of dolphins. A co-author of the study Richard Conner explained to Discovery News, “I work on the male dolphins and their social lives are very intense; it seems there is constant drama.”

One of the groups of dolphins studied remained in tact after 17 years, with different male dolphins partnering off to later re-partner with different male members of the group. The study published by Proceedings of the Royal Society B notes that during the mating season male pairs or trios work together to herd female partners. These same sort of relationships very rarely occur between female dolphins, with only one recorded instance in the study.

As we’ve previously reported, homosexuality in the animal kingdom is not uncommon.

Image Source: Flickr/Rubin Bos