Homosexual golden monkeys discovered in Shennongjia

14:12, November 30, 2010      

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The homosexual activity among male monkeys.(photo:cnhubei.com)



The homosexual activity among female monkeys.(photo:cnhubei.com)


Researchers at the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve were surprised to find on Nov. 29 that there are homosexual golden monkeys in their research base.

A few days ago, researchers at the Dalongtan Golden Monkey Scientific Research Base in Shennongjia followed the monkeys to observe their social behaviors as usual. A strange scene shocked them and they found that an adult male monkey called "Da Yang" quickly walked up behind another male monkey named "Yi Zuo Mao" and tightly held his waist.

"Yi Zuo Mao" immediately gave a response to "Da Yang" just like female monkeys do to initiate mating. Then, both monkeys gave gestures that were the same as those that occur during mating.

This scene made researchers note that the behavior had happened before under a complex background. Therefore, it was difficult to identify whether it was homosexual behavior. However, a series of clear actions this time made it clear that their behavior was in fact homosexual behavior between golden monkeys.

In the next few days, researchers also observed several homosexual acts among golden monkeys and there was a higher probability of homosexual activity among male monkeys than female monkeys. Researchers studied the phenomenon and analyzed that this has much to do with the social structure of golden monkeys.

The society of golden monkeys has two kinds of units. One is the family unit. An adult male monkey is in charge of the family and also has many wives and children. The other one is an all-male unit. This kind of unit is composed of male monkeys and the members have complex identities and various backgrounds, including male leaders who have been abdicated, sub-adult males who have not become leaders and young male monkeys who were sent away from their families.

Male monkeys belonging to the all-male unit basically have no right to have sex with females unless they become a leader of a family. Therefore, the homosexual acts between the male monkeys can ease their physical and psychological pressure and maintain a harmonious community life.

Researchers said that although the homosexual phenomenon is not surprising in the animal world, because the golden monkey shares a common ancestor with human beings, their homosexual phenomenon is more worthy of further study and discussion. The research on the homosexual phenomenon of golden monkeys can also help us understand the origin of human homosexuality.

The website cnhubei.com contributed to this report.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:叶欣)

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