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Crayfish have Gay Pseudosex To Prevent War

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posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 05:39 PM
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Scientists have discovered pseudo-sex in crayfish, where males
fake sex with each other to show dominance and reduce violence.
Without it, these males often killed each other.

The use of "pseudocopulation" to establish hierarchies and ease
aggression among males is also seen in mammals such as
primates.
This is the first time scientists have seen such a complex
dominance ritual outside vertebrates.

Neuroethologist Donald Edwards of Georgia State University in
Atlanta and his colleagues investigated Louisiana crayfish in a lab
aquarium.
Scientists had seen pseudocopulation between males in the wild
and in captivity, but why this happened was unknown.

Normally a male crayfish begins sex by approaching a female
from behind and lashing her with his antennae.
Next he climbs atop the female and flips her over.
If the female adopts a subordinate pose with outstretched limbs,
the male grasps her and begins copulation for 30 to 90 minutes.

Among 20 pairs of adult male crayfish tested, pseudocopulation
attempts happened in 16 pairs.
In 12 of these pairs, the male that was forced into the subordinate
role submitted, leading to pseudocopulation nearly identical to
normal sexual copulation for seven seconds to about nine minutes.
In the other four pairs, the male that was forced into the subordi-
nate role refused all attempts.

In pairs that pseudocopulated, initial levels of aggressive behavior
between the males—such as claw attacks or offensive tail flips—
declined significantly during the first hour of interaction.
All these animals survived over the first 24 hours.

However, in the male pairs that did not pseudocopulate, initial levels
of aggression did not slack off during the first hour.
Half of the subordinate males were killed, dismembered and partially
eaten during the first 24 hours.


SOURCE:
LiveScience.com


From a purewly scientific point of view I find this fascinating,
that said, when I initially read this, it took all my will power
not to fall over laughing, as that would'nt have been good
since I was in class.


Comments, Opinions?




posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 05:55 PM
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Comment:


Fragile Earth -[rss]-
Discussion of climate change, pollution, and environment issues


Question:

What does this have to do with climate change, pollution, or environmental issues?



posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 06:09 PM
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Because Crayfish are part of the environment, and it's
an environmental discovery.

That, and I figure it belongs more here than in the
SCI-TECH forum.



posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 06:55 PM
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That's amazing, I read the entire thing with great interest...and I normally don't even post



posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 07:31 PM
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Very interesting. But...



In pairs that pseudocopulated, initial levels of aggressive behavior
between the males—such as claw attacks or offensive tail flips—
declined significantly during the first hour of interaction.
All these animals survived over the first 24 hours.

However, in the male pairs that did not pseudocopulate, initial levels
of aggression did not slack off during the first hour.
Half of the subordinate males were killed, dismembered and partially
eaten during the first 24 hours.




I'd like to know: Does pseudocopulation include penetration, or not?

This kind of behavior is common in every female animal I have observed - especially dogs and cows. I understand it is a dominance thing, and obviously penetration is not possible. But - seems entry might be critical with males. Or not?





posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 07:39 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
I'd like to know: Does pseudocopulation include penetration, or not?


That's an interesting quewstion, I don't think so, as from what
I understand they don't have the right parts for penetration so
to speak, plus if there was penetration involved, it would'nt
be pseudosex.



posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
I'd like to know: Does pseudocopulation include penetration, or not?

Nope. Crayfish don't have the right kind of parts.


This kind of behavior is common in every female animal I have observed - especially dogs and cows. I understand it is a dominance thing, and obviously penetration is not possible. But - seems entry might be critical with males. Or not?

On those with the right parts, yes (though it's not always a dominance thing.)



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