Planet Earth

Apparently, brown bears like oral sex, too!

Seriously, Science?By Seriously ScienceJun 16, 2014 10:00 AM
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Photo: flickr/spisharam

It seems that everyone (and every animal) is getting on the kinky bandwagon. First it was whales having a ménage à trois, then it was cunnilingus in bats, and now we have fellating bears. This article reports the behaviors of two healthy male bears that were raised together at a sanctuary for brown bears in Kuterevo, Croatia. The authors speculate that the oral sex started as a nursing behavior, and the bears kept doing it because, well, it felt good. Can you blame them? See below for photos of the bears in action [NSFBW].

Fellatio in captive brown bears: Evidence of long-term effects of suckling deprivation? "Sexually stimulating behaviors that are not linked to reproduction are rare among non-human (especially non-primate) mammals. Such behaviors may have a function in the hierarchy of social species. In solitary species, such behaviors are more enigmatic, and possibly indicative of something abnormal. Here, we report on a case of two male brown bears, raised in captivity since being orphaned as cubs, which engaged in recurrent fellatio multiple times per day until at least 10 years old. The roles of provider and receiver in the act remained unchanged, and the behavior itself became highly ritualized. The provider always initiated the contact involving vigorous penile sucking that appeared to result in ejaculation. We suggest that the behavior began as a result of early deprivation of maternal suckling, and persisted through life, possibly because it remained satisfying for both individuals. This constitutes the first descriptive report of fellatio in bears, and suggests that some bears may suffer lifelong behavioral consequences from being orphaned at an early age." Bonus figure from the main text:

Figure 1. Selected frames from the footage of the fellatio behavior in the brown bear males: (a) the individual providing fellatio approaching the other individual resting on side, (b)–(d) phases of fellatio. Related content: NCBI ROFL: Accidental condom inhalation. NCBI ROFL: Cunnilingus increases duration of copulation in the Indian flying fox. NCBI ROFL: I vaaaant to suuuuck your…

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