June 4, 2023

  • A new study shows that long-tailed macaques in Indonesia practice tool-assisted masturbation.
  • The researchers observed monkeys tapping and rubbing stones on their genitals.
  • Tool use is well documented in animals, although usually for survival purposes, such as eating.

The use of tools in animals is well-documented, but researchers recently discovered monkeys in Indonesia that seem to use stones in a very specific way: as sex toys.

According to one study, when researchers studied 173 long-tailed macaques, they observed the macaques tapping and rubbing stones in their genital and groin areas. Paper Published this month in the journal Behavior. This behavior led researchers to propose the “sex toy” hypothesis.

The researchers evaluated the theory in a number of ways. They observed that younger men were more likely than older men to engage in this behavior, and it was often accompanied by a sexual physiological response, such as an erection. They also found that stone use was associated with other sexual acts, such as horseback riding.

Taken together, the researchers say the data partially support the theory that the behavior was “sexually motivated.” That means the monkeys appear to be engaging in “a kind of self-directed, tool-assisted masturbation,” Camilla Cenni, a PhD student at the University of Lethbridge in Canada and the study’s author, told reporters. New York Times.

The authors say the paper suggests that over time monkeys may continue to use behavioral tools such as masturbation that are not directly related to survival but have “pleasant” or “self-rewarding” aspects, such as “potential” Playfulness and Sexuality”.

Many animals are known to use tools. otter Rock the shells for food such as clams and mussels. dolphin Use the sponge to kick the sand and spot prey on the ocean floor.monkeys have been documented video Break nuts and shellfish with stones.

Animals have also been recorded masturbating with objects, although this is less common. Most tools are used for a definite purpose of survival, such as eating.

“It’s arguably not really adaptive or useful,” Cenni told TIME about assisted masturbation.

The authors noted that the observed macaques lived in areas where they often had access to human food, so they likely spent less time foraging than other populations.

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