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Male Bats Perform Oral Sex on Female Bats

Update Date: Apr 02, 2013 03:34 PM EDT

A recent study has found that a species of fruit bats perform oral sex on one another. Researchers are not sure about why it occurs, suggesting that it may be to make sex last longer or as a mechanism to ensure that other competitors' sperm do not inseminate the female bat first.

Previous studies have shown that female bats perform fellatio on male bats. However, a recent study published in the journal PLoS One indicates that male bats give as well as get.

According to LiveScience, the researchers performed the study by analyzing a colony of about 420 Indian flying foxes that lived in a fig tree in southern India. This species of bat is among the largest in the world.

Over the course of 13 months, the researchers watched the bats with binoculars and a video camera. During the research period, they witnessed 57 acts of oral sex, usually in the morning.

Typically, male bats would groom their penises to become erect before approaching a female bat. Then he would touch her with his wing. In response, she would move, and he would follow her.

Once she stopped moving, the male bat would perform the act of cunnilingus, or licking her vagina. That act would last about 50 seconds. Then, for 10 to 20 seconds, the male would mount the female. Following that, for 94 to 188 seconds, he would perform cunnilingus again.

The researchers noted that, the longer cunnilingus was performed in the beginning of the sex act, the longer intercourse lasted. That gave researchers the impression that the act of oral sex helped with sperm mobility.

However, other researchers believe that the act of oral sex is meant to clean away sperm that a competitor may have left behind. However, that theory leaves researchers to wonder why bats would perform cunnilingus after the act of sex. Researchers want to perform more studies in order to determine whether the bats' oral sex involves the tongue going inside the vagina.

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