Bats And Oral Sex: Watch Male Bats In India Perform Oral Sex On Females As Foreplay [VIDEO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on April 2, 2013 12:37 PM EDT

bats
Two Indian flying foxes at the Botanical Garden of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. Researchers believe the male bats perform oral sex on the females during sex as a way to prolong intercourse. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Researchers observed that male fruit bats in India perform oral sex on females as part of their mating ritual. It is believed that cunnilingus, which researchers say lasts for about 50 seconds prior to intercourse, helps the bats have sex longer, Live Science reports.

Researchers in India spent 13 months, from July 2010 to July 2011, watching a colony of 420 bats in southern India through binoculars and video cameras. Over the course of their observation, they witnessed 57 cases of sex, including both oral and intercourse, which usually occurred in the morning. Following oral sex, the male bats then mounted the females for ten to 20 seconds, followed by another period of oral sex that lasted between 94 and 188 seconds.

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"The duration of pre-copulatory cunnilingus was related to increase in the duration of copulation," the study notes. Research into male and female fruit bat sexual behavior was sponsored by the University Grants Commission in New Delhi.

The bats, Indian flying foxes, were observed roosting in fig trees in southern India near the village of Nallachampatti. Measuring eight to 12 inches from head to tail and having a wingspan between 3'10" and 4'10", the Indian flying fox is one of the largest fruit bats in the world. While mostly concentrated in South Asia, they are also found in China and Southeast Asia, including the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The bats form large colonies numbering in the hundreds and even thousands, finding refuge in large trees close to agricultural fields and ponds. They eat a wide variety of fruits and flowers.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Indian flying fox is a relatively healthy bat species and is in no immediate threat of becoming endangered. However, in some parts of the world, the species is hunted for meat and medicine. Also, deforestation in some areas has caused a decline in the bats' roosting sites.

Researchers who studied the Indian flying fox mating ritual note that the male bats first groomed their own penises as a way to achieve erection before they approached the females. They then performed cunnilingus on their female counterparts.

The scientists in India postulate a number of reasons why the male bats might perform oral sex on females. One theory is that the act is an evolutionary tactic meant to prolong copulation and increase the mobility of sperm.

They also theorize that the oral sex might be a way for the male bats to clean off competitors' sperm. "Doing so could help ensure their sperm, and not their rivals', impregnates the females," according to Live Science.

It is also thought that the saliva is simply a good way to keep everything lubricated during sex.

"Apart from humans, oral sex as foreplay prior to copulation is uncommon in mammals," the scientists noted. Only a few species of monkey, including the bonobos chimpanzee, have been observed engaging in oral sex.

National Geographic reports that research into bat fellatio and cunnilingus started in 2009 with a study that monitored oral sex among short-nosed fruit bats in China. Scientists at the Guangdong Entomological Institute in Guangzhou, China, found that female Chinese fruit bats performed fellatio on the males to achieve arousal.

"The researchers found the longer the fellatio went on, the longer the bats often had sex, with each second of licking adding roughly six extra seconds of copulation," Live Science reports.

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