Friday, November 17, 2006

Small Gay Animals

They're here and they're queer... the animal kingdom celebrates diversity!

A museum display called "Against Nature?" recently opened at the University of Oslo's Natural History Museum. The display, the first of its kind, showcases 51 species of animals that exhibit homosexuality.

"Homosexuality has been observed in more than 1,500 species, and the phenomenon has been well described for 500 of them," said Petter Bockman, project coordinator of the exhibition.

It was interestingly noted that in many species homo- and bi-sexuality allows animals to be more readily accepted into a pack or flock, where the chance of survival is higher. Gay animal couples also raise young - a female bird may lay an egg in the nest of a male pair, or a nesting pair of females will allow a friendly male to fertilize their own eggs. (25% of black swans are raised by gay parents.)

While research into gay animals is rare, it so far seems to debunk the myth that gayness is 'unnatural' based on the assumption that animal sexuality only serves the purpose of species continuation. Sex also seems to be something animals do just for pleasure; the truly unnatural position appears to be that held by humans who believe it's only for procreation. (Cross-posted in the "No Shit Sherlock" Department.)