Comment »Posted on Friday 30 October 2009 at 4:45 pm by Colin Stuart
In Biology

ResearchBlogging.org

Researchers in China have found that by practicing fellatio on their male counterparts female short-nosed fruit bats can prolong sex.

Whilst oral sex is a common part of the human mating ritual, and occasionally observed in Bonobo monkeys, this is thought to be one of the first times that fellatio has been observed outside of the primates.

Min Tan and his team recorded females lowering their heads to lick the base or shaft of the male’s penis whilst copulation was occurring. This happened on 14 out of 20 copulations with the licking measured to last 19.14±3.45 seconds or approximately 8.7% of the duration of sex.

“We found that whether a female licked her mate’s penis during copulation had a significant influence on the duration of copulation. The pairs spent more time copulating if the female licked her mate’s penis than on occasions when females did not show licking behaviour. This result suggests that the licking behaviour may play an important role in copulation by prolonging intromission.”

The study concluded that every second of licking added a further 6 seconds to the duration of sex and suggests several reasons why this behaviour might be advantageous, including that,

“Prolonged copulation might assist sperm transport from the vagina to the oviduct, or stimulate secretions of the pituitary gland in the female and hence increase the likelihood of fertilization”

For those wishing to see the act in question the researchers supply a handy video.

Tan, M., Jones, G., Zhu, G., Ye, J., Hong, T., Zhou, S., Zhang, S., & Zhang, L. (2009). Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time PLoS ONE, 4 (10) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007595


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