Scientists at California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the University of Rhode Island recently reported on the same-sex mating habits of Octopoteuthis deletron, a deep-sea squid that indiscriminately shoots sperm packets onto both male and female squids passing by.
O. deletron isn’t alone in its same-sex sexual behavior. In a review article published in 2009, biologists Nathan Bailey and Marlene Zuk at the University of California, Riverside, noted that “many thousands of instances of same-sex courtship, pair bonding and copulation have been observed in a wide range of species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, mollusks and nematodes.”
Some animals, when given a choice, show a preference for the same sex, and researchers have even ascribed a same-sex sexual orientation to members of certain species. Read on for some fascinating examples.
Jennifer Abbasi is a science and health writer and editor living in Brooklyn. Follow Jen on Twitter @jenabbasi and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.