Humans are homosexual is well known but we also know the behaviour is extremely common across the animal kingdom, from insects to mammals. So what’s really going on? Can these animals actually be called homosexual?
Animals have been observed engaging in same-sex matings for decades. But for most of that time, the documented cases were largely seen as anomalies or curiosities.
According to research, same-sex sexual activity has been recorded in almost 1,500 species – from beetles, flamingos, bison and yes, cows, too.
Scientists have argued that bovine lesbianism in domesticated cattle is often displayed because the animals are enclosed in stressful conditions. Homosexual behaviour, however, was not apparent in wild cattle.
Observations indicate that Humboldt, King, Gentoo, and Adélie penguins of the same sex engage in “mating rituals like entwining their necks and vocalizing to one another.” In addition, male giraffes have also been observed engaging in homosexual behavior by rubbing their necks against each others’ bodies while ignoring the females. Yet another example is lizards of the genus Teiidae, which can copulate with both male and female mates.