Female fruitbat fellatio frenzy: 70% give head

As do 100% of males - to themselves, naturally


The scientific world is electrified today by one of the most significant discoveries of our times: the great majority of female short-nosed fruit bats love to give head. Possibly even more significantly, the nimble lust-crazed chiropterines are able to perform fellatio on a male bat who is taking them from behind at the time.

The revelations were reported breathlessly in Science magazine at the weekend. It appears that until now, the only species known to indulge in oral sex were bonobo monkeys and some humans: but this picture has been turned on its head by boffins in China. These scientists had set up pairs of Cynopterus sphinx shortnosed fruitbats in romanta-love-tryst situations and then positioned infrared cameras to record the saucy antics which ensued. As you do.

According to Science:

Then came the shocker: After the male mounted the female from behind, she bent over and began licking his penis... The males never withdrew while being licked, and the authors found that the longer a female licked, the longer copulation lasted (for each second of licking, the female bats gained 6 seconds of copulation)... In all, fellating females mated for an average of 4 minutes, twice as long as the other females.

Pausing briefly no doubt to wipe the steam from their spectacles, the boffins noted that this was no isolated act by an unusually frisky lady fruitbat. It seems that down among the southeast Asia's nocturnal air-scrumping community, it's routine to add a bit of value to one's night-life experience in this fashion. Fully 70 per cent of the lady bats in the study did so.

"The finding of fellatio in bats is exciting news," primatologist Frans de Waal - an expert on oral sex in bonobo monkeys - told Science.

The scientists aren't sure why the lady bats are so keen on giving head. They do note in their paper:

The C. sphinx females are not passive during copulation but rather communicate with the male, in this case by licking his penis... It is conceivable that the female manipulates the male by increasing sexual stimulation, so that she ultimately benefits.

Male C. Sphinx bats apparently don't reciprocate the favours offered so lavishly by the females. But they do, apparently, give themselves a little extra oral treat after finishing with a lady.

For the curious, there's red hot bat fellatio action here on mpeg video, courtesy of PLoS One. The paper, Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time, can be read here. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Photonic processor can classify millions of images faster than you can blink
    We ask again: Has science gone too far?

    Engineers at the University of Pennsylvania say they've developed a photonic deep neural network processor capable of analyzing billions of images every second with high accuracy using the power of light.

    It might sound like science fiction or some optical engineer's fever dream, but that's exactly what researchers at the American university's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences claim to have done in an article published in the journal Nature earlier this month.

    The standalone light-driven chip – this isn't another PCIe accelerator or coprocessor – handles data by simulating brain neurons that have been trained to recognize specific patterns. This is useful for a variety of applications including object detection, facial recognition, and audio transcription to name just a few.

    Continue reading
  • World’s smallest remote-controlled robots are smaller than a flea
    So small, you can't feel it crawl

    Video Robot boffins have revealed they've created a half-millimeter wide remote-controlled walking robot that resembles a crab, and hope it will one day perform tasks in tiny crevices.

    In a paper published in the journal Science Robotics , the boffins said they had in mind applications like minimally invasive surgery or manipulation of cells or tissue in biological research.

    With a round tick-like body and 10 protruding legs, the smaller-than-a-flea robot crab can bend, twist, crawl, walk, turn and even jump. The machines can move at an average speed of half their body length per second - a huge challenge at such a small scale, said the boffins.

    Continue reading
  • Intel: Our fabs can mass produce silicon qubit devices
    If conventional silicon manufacturing processes can be repurposed, it could help create practical quantum systems

    Updated Intel and QuTech claim to have created the first silicon qubits for quantum logic gates to be made using the same manufacturing facilities that Intel employs to mass produce its processor chips.

    The demonstration is described by the pair as a crucial step towards scaling to the thousands of qubits that are required for practical quantum computation.

    According to Intel, its engineers working with scientists from QuTech have successfully created the first silicon qubits at scale at Intel's D1 manufacturing factory in Hillsboro, Oregon, using a 300mm wafer similar to those the company uses to mass produce processor chips.

    Continue reading
  • TACC Frontera's 2022: Academic supercomputer to run intriguing experiments
    Plus: Director reveals 10 million node hours, 50-70 million core hours went into COVID-19 research

    The largest academic supercomputer in the world has a busy year ahead of it, with researchers from 45 institutions across 22 states being awarded time for its coming operational run.

    Frontera, which resides at the University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), said it has allocated time for 58 experiments through its Large Resource Allocation Committee (LRAC), which handles the largest proposals. To qualify for an LRAC grant, proposals must be able to justify effective use of a minimum of 250,000 node hours and show that they wouldn't be able to do the research otherwise. 

    Two additional grant types are available for smaller projects as well, but LRAC projects utilize the majority of Frontera's nodes: An estimated 83% of Frontera's 2022-23 workload will be LRAC projects. 

    Continue reading
  • Scientists make spin ice breakthrough
    Artificial spin ice with smallest features ever created could be part of novel low-power HPC

    Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute and ETH Zurich in Switzerland have managed to accomplish a technological breakthrough that could lead to new forms of low-energy supercomputing.

    It's based around something called artificial spin ice: think of water molecules freezing into a crystalline lattice of ice, and then replace the water with nanoscale magnets. The key to building a good spin ice is getting the magnetic particles so small that they can only be polarized, or "spun," by dropping them below a certain temperature. 

    When those magnets are frozen, they align into a lattice shape, just like water ice, but with the added potential of being rearranged into a near infinity of magnetic combinations. Here the use cases begin to emerge, and a couple breakthroughs from this experiment could move us in the right direction.

    Continue reading
  • First Light says it's hit nuclear fusion breakthrough with no fancy lasers, magnets
    We talk to CEO about projectile-based implosion design

    British outfit First Light Fusion claims it has achieved nuclear fusion with an approach that could provide cheap, clean power.

    Rather than rely on expensive lasers, complicated optical gear, and magnetic fields, as some fusion reactor designs do, First Light's equipment instead shoots a tungsten projectile out of a gas-powered gun at a target dropped into a chamber.

    We're told that, in a fully working reactor, this high-speed projectile will hit the moving target, which contains a small deuterium fuel capsule that implodes in the impact. This rapid implosion causes the fuel's atoms to fuse, which releases a pulse of energy.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022