London, May 15 (ANI): Jealous female gorillas use sex as a tool to prevent males from having sex with other females, even when they themselves cannot conceive, according to a study.
In the study, Tara Stoinski and colleagues at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia analysed how often four captive female gorillas invited sex or copulated over two years.
And they observed that even pregnant or lactating females solicited more sex on days when other females were sexually active.
Having just one male around, females could not have been trying to confuse him about his paternity-which is one of the most common explanations offered for non-reproductive sex.Thus, the researchers speculated that the female gorillas were offering sex to curry favour with the male, or to prevent him from impregnating other females.
"With another female in the mix, the male may copulate less with the first one, or he could be depleting his sperm," New Scientist magazine quoted Stoinski as saying.
She added that in the wild, this sort of competition between females could increase the chance that the male will protect the favoured female's offspring from danger.
The study has been published in the American Journal of Primatology. (ANI)