Dolphins Have Clitorises 'Remarkably Similar' to Humans
For the first time, scientists studied the dolphin clit up close—and found something familiar
Image via Shutterstock
This article originally appeared on VICE US
Dolphins are chaotically horny creatures. They’ve been observed using live eels to masturbate like some kind of aquatic Fleshlight, living in boundaryless sexual societies and are among the few mammals besides humans that have sex for pleasure and social bonding.
They’re too smart, too slick, and too sexual for my tastes and I don’t ever want to be in the water with one, thank you.
Anyway, scientists from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts have found that the female dolphin’s clitoris is “remarkably similar” to human women’s. For example, my own. I’m upset.
The researchers—Dara Orbach, a research associate at Mount Holyoke College, and Patricia Brennan, an assistant professor of biology—autopsied 11 female dolphins that died of natural causes, dissected their reproductive organs, created 3D tomography (CT) scans of their vaginas, and fixed the tissue in paraffin wax so they could examine their structures.
They found that, like humans, dolphins have a clitoral hood, and two areas of extensive erectile tissue that merge into a single body. Because the clitoral hood is thin and folded like humans’, the researchers deduced that, like in people, dolphins’ clits get enlarged, engorged and more sensitive when aroused. The human clitoris mainly exists for stimulation and pleasure, so it’s safe to assume that the dolphin’s probably does, too.
Unlike the human clit, however, dolphins’ are positioned in a slightly different spot. "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," Orbach said in a press release.
This makes it easily stimulated while mating—male dolphins don’t have hands, thank God, so I will applaud nature on that ergonomic choice, I guess.
"Very little is known about female reproductive morphology in most wild vertebrate species," Orbach said. "This research provides a comparative framework to explore other functions of sex that may not be unique to humans. We are on the precipice of a deeper understanding of the relationship between form and function of genitalia.”
This article originally appeared on VICE US.