Why beetles are homosexual

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(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from Germany investigated homosexual behavior in the insect world. Using the example of grave-bugs, it was found that such contacts occur only in the absence of a heterogeneous alternative.

Many representatives of the fauna world enter into same-sex contacts: homosexual behavior is observed in more than 1,500 species (well-documented for 500 of them). But the evolutionary cause of this phenomenon is still not exactly known. According to one of the theories (its author is the American biologist Hudson Reeve), the basis of animal homosexuality is a combination of two factors: an insufficient number of females in a population combined with the difficulty of recognizing the sex of individuals.

To prove or refute this theory, German biologists conducted an experiment, the participants of which were grave beetles ( Nicrophorus ). Males and females of these insects from each other often do not differ not only externally, but also by smell. Scientists changed the conditions for keeping beetles and, in particular, the number of females in the control group. With a decrease in females, the number of homosexual relationships increased sharply, and vice versa.

According to researchers, this confirms Reeve’s theory, and also explains the evolutionary reason for the emergence of homosexuality in a number of wildlife. Beetles, like other living things, need to reproduce their genus. If the gender of the potential partner is not obvious, from the point of view of evolution it is better to take a chance and make contact than patiently wait for the moment when a sufficient number of females appear nearby.

At the same time, scientists emphasize that Riva’s theory is true only with the similarity of females and males. Accordingly, neither other representatives of the fauna (for example, oragnutans, in which males and females differ markedly), nor, especially, people, do these conclusions apply.


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