As a species, macaque monkeys are fucking rowdy. I once saw five or six of them brawling on a family beach while a seventh sat watching, sipping a can of Singha. Years earlier I’d witnessed a macaque yank a bag of peanuts out of a girl’s hand and run off with them, screaming. They are selfish, depraved little gremlins who’ll do whatever they have to to get their kicks. The lowest of the low.
When I hear about a macaque having sex with a deer then, it doesn’t exactly blow my hair back. I mean, there are some questions. Like “What do you mean ‘having sex’?” and, importantly, “Was it consensual?” We’ll get to those. But it’s worth flagging from the outset that this was never outside the realms of probability.
So yeah, scientists who’ve been observing macaques in Japan have discovered that they regularly engage in sexual activity with sika deer. What that ‘sexual activity’ ultimately amounts to is a female macaque climbing up onto a deer and grinding her genitals along its back. Dry-humping, essentially. Does that count as ‘fucking the deer’? Maybe. It’s a semantic issue, but let’s just emphasise the fact that no intercourse was observed to have taken place. Ain’t no deers fuckin’ monkeys out here.
Was any of this consensual then? Well, kind of. Scientists observed that some of the deer shrugged the monkeys off and ran away, while others – particularly male deer – were more tolerant of the interspecies erotica and even continued grazing while their backs were used as a grindstone.
In those cases where the deer wasn’t into it, “the female monkeys often displayed sexually motivated tantrums” says the report, which was published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour. These tantrums consisted of “crouching on the ground, body spasms and screaming, while gazing at the deer.”
The report also noted that these monkeys weren’t just lap-dancing on top of any old deer, either. Five different females had “a temporary, but exclusive, sexual association” with a particular deer, with “three or more mounts within a 10-minute period.”
So why is this happening? Why are monkeys rubbing their junk up on the backs of deer? It’s a pertinent question, and one that scientists don’t really have a solid answer to. There are some theories though, which more or less run as follows:
1: Young monkeys are just practicing how to get their freak on.
2: Female macaques are too scared to go home with big, brutish males.
3: These particular monkeys aren’t getting their sugar from anywhere else.
4: The monkeys started riding the deer for transport and/or fun and realised that it felt kinda great.
or 5: It’s just a cultural thing.
In an interview with The Guardian, authors of the study note that “Future observations at this site will indicate whether this group-specific sexual oddity was a short-lived fad or the beginning of a culturally-maintained phenomenon.”
Source: NPR/The Guardian
Feature image: World of Wonder
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