Source: Nature

Sexual interactions between female bonobos have been known to contribute to their close bonding. Although it is evident that these interactions are socially relevant, the underlying psychological processes remain unclear. To investigate this, Dr. Clay and Dr. Zuberbuhler at the University of St. Andrews studied the communication between female bonobos during sex. Through naturalistic observations and experiments, they found that some females produced “copulation calls” during sexual interactions that were influenced by the rank of the caller and partner as well as solicitation direction. These results demonstrate that sexual interactions and copulation calls between female bonobos are important in establishing social relations.

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