Female dolphins have a functional clitoris, which plays an important role when it comes to generating pleasure during sex, as well as it happens in humans. This is indicated by a study that appears this Monday in the magazine Current Biology, whose results are based on the analysis of the structure located at the entrance of the vagina of the world dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus), which presents a complex network of sensory nerves and Erectile bodies. "The dolphin clitoris has many characteristics that suggest that their biological function is to provide pleasure at females," explains the first author of the study, Patricia Brennan, professor at Mount Holyoke College of Massachusetts.
The researcher also points out that dolphins are social animals and have sex throughout the year to forge and maintain links, not just to reproduce. It has been observed that the place occupied by the clitoris in the vagina of the dolphin females is likely to stimulate and pleasure during the copulation. Likewise, cases of mutual stimulation of the clitoris between two females, with the snout, the fins and the caudal fin (tail) have been documented.
For this study, the biologists team decided to analyze in detail the dolphin clitoris and with this objective they studied at eleven copies that had died naturally, both with necropsy as with 3D scanners. The animals were examined in search of the presence and configuration of erectile bodies. "Like the human clitoris, that of dolphins has large areas of erectile tissue that are filled with blood," says Brennan.
They also discovered genital corpusions very similar to those described above in the human clitoris or at the tip of the penis, whose function has been identified as part of the pleasure response. The author emphasizes the proximity to human beings. "Since the pelvis of the dolphins is very different from that of humans, it was surprising to see how similar those forms were," she says. "The size of the nerves of the clitoris body, it was also very surprising," the researcher, "some had more than half a millimeter in diameter".
Brennan explains that the idea of studying the clitoris of the smart dolphins appeared during a previous study focused on the evolution of the vaginas of this same species. "Every time we dissected a vagina, we saw the clitoris of a large size and that awoke our curiosity to know if someone had examined it in detail, to discover if it worked as a human clitoris," he says. "We knew that dolphins have sex not only to reproduce, but also to strengthen social ties, so we found it likely that the clitoris could have a certain function."
Researchers remember that the clitoris and sexual pleasure of females have barely been treated by scientific studies of wildlife. The human clitoris was not decorated completely until the 1990s by the Australian Urologist Helen O'Connell, a work that was fundamental to understand the form and function of the clitoris, which provided answers to some basic biological issues on sex. In addition, this type of research also has implications in the surgery of the pelvic area, where doctors can apply this knowledge to avoid any loss of sexual function.
"Ignoring the study of female sexuality has left us with an incomplete image of the true nature of sexual behaviors," says Brennan. "Studying and understanding these behaviors in nature is a fundamental part to understand animal experience and may even have important medical applications in the future." That is why the team plans to continue analyzing the clitoris and the genitals of dolphins and many other vertebrates to help extend knowledge in this field.Updated Date: 10 January 2022, 16:56