Famous Japanese Snow Monkeys Take Baths to Lower Stress The latest study looked at mating season interactions from videos of the behavior and hormone testing from fecal samples. The researchers compared monkey-deer interactions to homosexual contact observed between female macaques in the past. Based on instances of mounting, thrusting, and vocalizations, the team concludes that these relations were, in fact, sexual.
In some cases, the macaques also bit the deer or pulled on their antlers. If you're wondering, there is video. The researchers observed 14 different monkey-deer pairings. In five cases, female monkeys mounted the same quadruped partner three or more times in a minute period and made the same calls heard when monkeys mate with each other.
In other cases, female macaques interrupted sex acts started between other monkeys and deer. Gunst says the interactions occurred about once every day and lasted from a few minutes to about two hours. For the most part, the deer didn't seem to care. Some of the deer shook the monkeys off their backs, but others stood passively while the monkeys thrusted.
In some cases, the deer just kept on eating. Monkey Motivation Interspecies sex is not unheard of; 10 percent of animal species are known to hybridize. But this practice is more common in animals that are anatomically similar. Since monkeys and deer are so physically different, it's highly unlikely the macaques confused the deer with a potential primate mate.
Rare interspecies mating behavior between a macaque and sika deer is captured on camera. Video courtesy Alexandre Bonnefoy The researchers say there are a couple reasons why the monkeys might be pursuing the deer. For one, this could be a way for young macaques to practice sex. Or, it could be a sexual alternative for young females. Small female monkeys are sometimes rejected by potential sexual partners, and intercourse with their larger male counterparts can be dangerous.
Performing on the deer may be a more attractive option for the monkeys. The unlikely pairings could be a peculiarity that only recently started. The story has been updated.