Male dolphins in western Australia were found showing patterns of gay behaviour. The observations took place after the peak of the mating season in the waters nearby the coastal city of Mandurah. Scientists focused on a pod that contained 15 male bottlenose dolphins, where all but three were juvenile.
“Male dolphins form life-long alliances, so socio-sexual interactions between males are more common than between females or between the sexes.”
Homosexual Behaviour is Common for Male Dolphins
“The dolphins organised themselves in four sub-groups in which they engaged in socio-sexual behaviour that included mounting and genital contact between individuals,” researcher Krista Nicholson told the Mandurah Mail. “The subgroups joined, frequently forming a large group and then split again in different group compositions.”
The homosexual behaviour could be key to establishing dominance among the species´ males. However, this was not a novelty for the researchers, who observed similar behaviour in Shark Bay. “Male dolphins form life-long alliances, so socio-sexual interactions between males are more common than between females or between the sexes,” Nicholson added.
The unusual bonding could also be a way of ensuring safety or an easier way to find females. Scientists believe, that by learning how the animals behave, they will be able to protect them. The bottlenose dolphins are at risk from the many new constructions along the coast. This lead to the detriment of their habitat. combined with an increase in boat traffic and pollution along the coast.