Dolphins may be more like us than we previously thought, as females could be able to experience sexual pleasure similar to humans, a groundbreaking study has found.
The female mammal may even be able to reach orgasm due to its sex organs, which are not too different to its human counterpart.
Scientists have found female bottlenose dolphins have large and well-developed clitorises and its tissue structure suggests it may expand in response to stimulation.
The skin under the clitoral hood has bundles of nerves which may increase sensitivity, meaning they could also experience pleasure.
Previous research has shown how sex plays an important role in dolphin bonding and they have it all year around, even during seasonal periods where they are unable to conceive.
Study co-leader Dr Dara Orbach, a research associate at Mount Holyoke College in the US, compared dolphins year-round sexual activity to the habits of humans and apes.
She 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 research team studied 11 dolphins that had died naturally and were collected under a permit authorised by the National Marine Fisheries Service in the US.
They performed dissections, created 3-D CT scans, fixed the tissues in paraffin wax and stained them to closely eRead More – Source