Science

Interspecies Sex: Scientists Find Rare Evidence of Monkey And Deer Mating

By Duna Bil , Jan 11, 2017 10:00 AM EST
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First 'sacred' monkey born at London Zoo
YAMANOUCHI, JAPAN - JANUARY 30: Japanese Macaque monkeys relax in the hot spring at the Jigokudani (Hell's Valley) Monkey Park on January 30, 2010 in Yamanouchi, Japan. This Macaque troop regularly visits the Jigokudani-Onsen springs to escape the cold. This behaviour originates from a female Macaque who ventured into the hot springs to retrieve soybeans in 1963. (Photo : Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

In a rare moment of heat, a Japanese snow monkey was seen attempting to mate with a female sika deer, proving the existence of interspecies sex. Scientist recorded the incident as this kind of sexual friskiness is only the second one observed between distantly related animals. The unusual sexual interaction was seen in Japan's Yakushima island.

The animals involved, a male Japanese snow monkey and a female sika deer, have been known to have a symbiotic relationship. It is a relationship where both parties naturally benefit from each other. The deer oftentimes get their food from the fruits dropped by the monkeys from up the trees, and the monkeys usually groom the deer and ride on their backs occasionally.

In the recent incident, an unusual interspecies sex was observed and published in the journal Primates, describing a low-ranking male monkey repeatedly mounting at least two different female deer. The first doe showed alarm and ran off, but the second one appeared to have consented with the act. At the end of the sexual activity, the doe was seen licking her side where the male monkey ejaculated, the Independent reported.

The scientists explain the unusual sexual behavior as a result of "mate deprivation". It is a theory that explains why some animals mate with different animals other than their own kind due to shortage of females in their population. It could also be inaccessibility of females that leads to the behavior.

According to the The Guardian, since the two species already cohabitate and are constantly present in each other's circle, sexual manifestation from the monkey is expected. Add the fact that the monkeys are presently entering breeding season, sexual behavior is highly likely. Scientists speculate other theories but the ones mentioned above top in their list of ideas.

Another animal study was reported earlier regarding the sexual ritual of fish. Rare incidents like this opens up new opportunities for scientists to explain why cases like this happens in the animal kingdom. They hope that this study on interspecies sex will shed light on why some humans are attracted to animals.

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