Masturbation rates were higher in dominant males, which copulate more, than in subordinates and increased with number of mates a female accepts.
October 2, 2010 5:03 PM   Subscribe



 
Studies of animal mating systems increasingly emphasize female multiple mating and cryptic sexual selection...

Another OK Cupid post?
posted by Joe Beese at 5:05 PM on October 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


"Our research also discovered that jokes involving hairy palms are much less amusing, and arguably pointless, when the subject has a pelt."
posted by mhoye at 5:10 PM on October 2, 2010 [13 favorites]


It doesn't sound like she did much to confirm or disprove her hypothesis either way. Maybe the more dominant (and thus more promiscuous) squrles just have more testosterone or something.
posted by delmoi at 5:14 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Conclusions
These results suggest that masturbation in this species was not a response to sperm competition nor a sexual outlet by subordinates that did not copulate. Instead masturbation could function as a form of genital grooming. Female Cape ground squirrels mate with up to 10 males in a 3-hr oestrus, and by masturbating after copulation males could reduce the chance of infection. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can profoundly affect fertility, and their consequences for mating strategies need to be examined more fully.
Yeah, that, or, um, maybe the dude squirrels just like a good wallop?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:16 PM on October 2, 2010


"Our research also discovered that jokes involving hairy palms are much less amusing, and arguably pointless, when the subject has a pelt."

Damn, so I guess my "playing with his nuts" line is probably a washout, too. OK, never mind.
posted by Mike D at 5:21 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, that, or, um, maybe the dude squirrels just like a good wallop?

I'll paraphrase a comment from a previous thread that I can't find: When some basic physical function is extremely pleasurable, it's probably because that physical function serves a purpose and evolution has selected for a propensity to engage in it.

"Squirrels eat because only by digesting organic matter can they produce the energy they need to survive." "Oh, come on. More like, acorns are really fucking tasty."
posted by decagon at 5:26 PM on October 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


Female Cape ground squirrels mate with up to 10 males in a 3-hr oestrus

Jeez, that's got to be tedious.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:30 PM on October 2, 2010


More proof that fuzzy little mammals are frisky little guys, eh?

As It Happens had a report last night about this year's Ig Nobels, where the fruitbat fellatio study was one of the winners. Apparently the research group's presentation at the awards included hand puppets. I do not begrudge a single penny of my taxes going to the CBC for bringing me news like this.
posted by maudlin at 5:31 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Of course, that doesn't mean some things aren't just side effects of evolutionarily advantageous traits. A sex drive alone would explain why people and animals masturbate. But you'd think that wasting sperm would be maladaptive, so affirmative explanations for why that particular behavior hasn't been bred out are interesting and worthwhile.
posted by decagon at 5:32 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


When some basic physical function is extremely pleasurable, it's probably because that physical function serves a purpose and evolution has selected for a propensity to engage in it.

But...! But...! But this ascetic religion promised me eternal life!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:33 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fucking science.
posted by chillmost at 5:41 PM on October 2, 2010


She taught me Bio I at University of Central Florida. It was alot of fun. And yet UCF doesn't publicize THIS on their facebook feed...
posted by motorcycles are jets at 5:49 PM on October 2, 2010


[...]It's your world and I'm just a SQUIRREL
Trying to get a nut
to move your butt
To the dance floor, so yo what's up
[...]
posted by cavalier at 6:15 PM on October 2, 2010


Predictable. A squirrel has a perfectly healthy, rich, full social life, and boom! we immediately label it "promiscuous."

This place is so humanzone.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:56 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


But...! But...! But this ascetic religion promised me eternal life!

Hmmm ... eternal life you say? My warmly humanist philosophy merely promises me exquisitely well-groomed genitals.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:04 PM on October 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


As It Happens had a report last night about this year's Ig Nobels, where the fruitbat fellatio study was one of the winners. Apparently the research group's presentation at the awards included hand puppets.

The best part is that when the demonstration was over, it took some effort to get Neil Gaiman to stop playing with the bat puppet.
posted by moss at 7:35 PM on October 2, 2010


But you'd think that wasting sperm would be maladaptive, so affirmative explanations for why that particular behavior hasn't been bred out are interesting and worthwhile.

Yes, counter-intuitive it would seem, but frequent masturbation clears the system of stale sperm and is also a way to avoid squirrel STD's.

Anyhow, I'm not going to search for it, but there's corollary evidence that human males masturbate more frequently, when they're having more sex. Apparently, like many things in nature...the more you do something, the more you want to keep doing it...evolution baby!!

Anyhow, so check it out: This squirrel walks into a bar....orders a drink and begins to masturbate furiously on his stool. Bartenders like: Yo, hold up Fucknuts!! what in the hell are you doing??!! Squirrel says...I'm grooming my genitals, dumbass..I have a big date tonight, what the hell, does it look like I'm doing? Bartender says: "Oh..you should've just said so in the first place," and walks away....
posted by Skygazer at 7:38 PM on October 2, 2010


Promiscuity isn't an anthropomorphic term, it just means having multiple sex partners.

Observational animal behavior studies tend to look pretty sketch, which is why animal behaviorists are mocked by other bio people. It would be cool to see if masturbation is actually reducing infection rates, though. It sounds like kind of a dumb hypothesis.
posted by DoktorFaustus at 7:39 PM on October 2, 2010


African Ground Squirrel meet Mr. Bonobo.
posted by PHINC at 7:59 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


we have a candidate for the IgNoble awards, w0000000t!
posted by liza at 8:03 PM on October 2, 2010


promiscuous squirrel, you're teasing me, you know what I want and I got what you need...
posted by addelburgh at 8:16 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


But you'd think that wasting sperm would be maladaptive, so affirmative explanations for why that particular behavior hasn't been bred out are interesting and worthwhile.

Also, every sperm is sacred.
posted by The Bellman at 8:23 PM on October 2, 2010


I love academia.

Love it.
posted by HostBryan at 10:40 PM on October 2, 2010


Squirrels love macadamias.

Love them.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:50 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Squirrels get squished on macadam.

Squish them.
posted by rouftop at 11:06 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Promiscuous Squirrels will be the name of my male escorts service. I'll work a "Bust your nuts" quip into its motto. Gonna make a million!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:48 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Squirrels love macramé.

Or perhaps knot.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:13 AM on October 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yay, I'm the king of kings, baby!
posted by moonbiter at 12:32 AM on October 3, 2010


What about the European ground squi . . . . . AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:51 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, Science, it's come to this? We have got to get you laid.
posted by tommasz at 6:55 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


GONADS AND STRIFE
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:48 AM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone remember that very dumb article that got posted as an FPP a few months back, whose author claimed that only humans could masturbate to ejaculation (which isn't true) because only humans had the conscious capability of imagining porn and this was essential to masturbation to ejaculation (which isn't true) and this was why human society was so unique (which isn't true)?

And then there was another FPP about the bizarre and lengthy screed he posted in reponse to a very short criticism of his article?

That whole thing just got even stupider in retrospect just now. Unless those are some VERY SOPHISTICATED squirrels.
posted by kyrademon at 11:39 AM on October 3, 2010


I just read that last bit as "squirtells". Time to go outside, I think ...
posted by maudlin at 11:47 AM on October 3, 2010


That guy who wrote that article about masturbating recently wrote another column, this one An ode to the many evolved virtues of human semen in which we learn of semen, is there anything it cannot do?

I was going to post this as an FPP but decided there's enough wanking on Metafilter already.

(Plus I didn't like the tangential implied conclusion about unhappy, asynchronous lesbians.)
posted by chavenet at 1:19 PM on October 3, 2010


Yesterday on Youtube I saw a male chimp masturbating with a live toad. I dare you to watch it.
posted by swift at 5:11 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


asynchronous lesbians

I had to scroll back up and re-read that. "Did someone just type 'asynchronous lesbians'? Wow, they did!"

My life is complete.
posted by mrbill at 11:01 AM on October 4, 2010


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