Do animals get aroused watching other animals copulate?
Is there any evidence that animals become aroused while watching others of their species copulate?
Chris Smith put this to zoologist and Naked Scientist Georgia Mills...
Chris - Georgia - Luke has asked this rather provocative question:
Is there any evidence that animals become aroused while watching others of their species do what comes naturally to them to reproduce, let's say? Georgia - Do as they do on the Discovery Channel? Actually, they do use footage of Pandas mating in Zoos because Pandas are notoriously difficult to get to breed in captivity, and this has had mixed results. There was one study where they got monkeys, which are a social species, male monkeys will sacrifice their fruit juice privileges to look at a picture of a female monkey's rear quarters, rear hindquarters. So there's some evidence that there is some.
Chris - So here, let me just get this straight. They do an experiment where you're offered a choice between a monkey's bum and some fruit juice?
Georgia - Yes, and the monkeys choose the bum almost all the time, so this shows at least that species values that image. But in terms of watching animals copulate, humans are a very very visual species, but it's easy to forget most other animals rely on a whole different host of cues as their major "turn ons" I suppose, so smells, and sounds, and movements. So, in general, it's probably a mainly human trait.
Chris - I'll bare that in mind.