Re: more on aquatic elephants

David Froehlich (
Fri, 10 Nov 1995 13:16:17 -0600

On 10 Nov 1995 wrote:

> What's your explanation of the convoluted vaginal pathway of elephants
> then? To copulate, the male elephant has to sit down and the female
> lowers itself onto the male's lap. I think this indicates that elephant's
> ancesters must have copulated face-to-face at one point. I doubt they had
> bipedal ancesters, and that fact that the human vagina has swung forward
> is explained as a consequence of bipedalism. How would you explain this?

???? Where did you get this information? I would really like to know
since it runs counter to all the evidence that I have seen. Elephant
males sit down for sex? All the instances I have seen (one in a zoo and
several on PBS nature shows) the male mounted the quadrupedally standing
female. No sitting was required. In fact, the female seemed to be fairly
uninterested in that the only cooperation she had was to stand still (and
in fact in one fairly amusing sequence I saw on TV, the female actively
disuaded a subordinate male by constantly walking out from under him when
he tried to mount her). Elephants mating front to front? Are you
serious? You have got to be joking!

David J. Froehlich Phone: 512-471-6088
Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory Fax: 512-471-5973
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
The University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712