Re: Social evolution of hominids

Laurie Davison (
2 Jan 1997 18:18:23 GMT wrote:
>Prolonged, if not continuous, sexual activity is not unknown among
>other species, where more or less permanent pairs are formed. Some
>birds show it, for instance, and I heard that dolphins might have it
>too, but I do not know if it is true. If it is, there are at least
>three groups with the sociality-communication-intelligence complex
>and 'false' matings, too. The latter may have to do with their young
>being cared by both parents, or by the whole society including males.
>Such young may need a protected learning period, which tells of a
>relatively high level of intelligence.

I'm not sure about dolphin behavior, but they do have a reputation for
promiscuity, in fact I heard one cetacean biologist refer to them as "the
nymphomaniacs of the sea"! - and the male has an interesting adaptation
that would seem to support the discussion here: there is a "finger-like"
projection at the end of the male's penis which is jointed and may be
consciously moved at will. This seems to go along with some evolutionary
design geared toward female enjoyment. It may be that dolphins are reflex
ovulators... I'm not sure. I wonder if at in any point in our evolution,
human (or hominid) females were reflex ovulators as well?