Adolescent female Japanese macaques mount deer and rub on their backs, perhaps as a way to practise sexual behaviour before they are old enough to mate

Just monkeying around? Adolescent female monkeys mount deer and rub themselves on the deers’ backs, apparently to practise sex when they are too young to be chosen by adult males.

Earlier this year, researchers reported observations of a single male Japanese macaque mounting sika deer and trying to mate with them.

In Minoo, Japan, researchers started recording monkey-deer liaisons in 2014, but there, it’s female macaques that have been observed mounting the deer. Noëlle Gunst and colleagues at the University of Lethbridge, Canada, recorded five adolescent female macaques mounting deer a total of 258 times in a two month period.

In the same group of monkeys, adolescent females are sometimes seen mounting other females or males and soliciting them for sex. These relationships, known as consortships, are thought to be a way to practise and develop adult sexual behaviours. Gunst even claims the female monkeys experience sexual

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