Female Dolphins May Experience Similar Sexual Pleasure To Humans
Finally, someone has answered the question we've all been asking - can dolphins orgasm?
According to a new study, it's likely that female bottlenose dolphins could be able to experience sexual pleasure - just like humans.
Scientists have discovered that the make-up of their sex organs are so similar that they may even experience orgasm. Lucky ladies.
Apparently, the structure of the tissue suggests the dolphin clitoris could be able to expand, for example, in response to stimulation.
They discovered that the skin under the clitoral hood contains 'bundles' of nerves that may increase sensitivity and the potential for pleasure, as has been found in the human clitoris.
In other words, human and dolphin bits are pretty much the same.
Sex plays an important role in how dolphins bond. They're very social mammals, and also are able to have sex all year round, and not just when they're able to conceive - again suggesting they are more similar to humans than we thought.
One of the leaders of the study, Dr Dara Orbach, a research associate at Mount Holyoke College in the US, said: "In other mammalian species with year-round copulation, such as humans and bonobos, sex is known to be pleasurable for females, often through clitoral stimulation that leads to orgasm.
"Our anatomical observations suggest the clitoris is functional in bottlenose dolphins, but further research, including physiological and behavioural analyses, are necessary to test if sexual experiences can be pleasurable for female dolphins."
The team dissected the clitorises and created 3D scans, before fixing them in paraffin wax and staining them to look at how they are built.
They saw that the dolphins have a 'clitoral hood' - like humans - and that two areas of erectile tissue merge in a shape that is similar too. The thin skin on the hood suggests that it might expand when they have 'increased sensitivity'.
The main difference is that it is located inside the dolphin, as opposed to the outside, like with humans.
Dr Orbach said: "In dolphins, the clitoris is positioned at the entrance of the vaginal opening and in direct contact with the penis during copulation, unlike the external position of the clitoris in humans.
"The location of the clitoris near the vaginal opening indicates it can potentially be easily stimulated during copulation."
The scientists will carry on their studies to see how similar our privates are to other animals too. What a time to be alive.
Featured Image Credit: PA