Feeds

Aussie boffins probe lesbian cows

Cattle worriers to explain bovine girl-on-girl

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

An intrepid team from the the University of Queensland will shortly make its way to Malaysia's central highlands to answer a question which has baffled science for centuries: is bovine lesbianism in domesticated cattle a stress reaction caused by environmental pressures?

Yes indeed, hot on the heels of the British revelations that sheep like happy, smiley people and pine for absent friends comes the earth-shattering possibility that cows' propensity to indulge in a bit of girl-on-girl is caused by a combination of "stress, [and] a selective domestication process which favoured outwardly sexual cows and the number of animals on heat in a small enclosure", as team supremo Clive Phillips explained to news.com.au.

Which is why Queensland's finest are on their way to Malaysia - home of the world's only herd of wild cattle - to prove that a carefree life of leisure reduces the incidence of bovine sapphism. According to the good prof: "With domestic cattle the cows show mounting homosexual behaviour when they are on heat and the wild cattle don't show that. A lot of animals in stressful conditions display this behaviour. It is a bit of a stress release."

Phillips also reports that other captive animals - including koalas and rabbits - "showed a similar increase in homosexual behaviour from that encountered in the wild".

We cannot help but feel that there is a nature/nurture punch-up looming here among the world's experts in animal homosexuality. Phillips' assertions are at odds with Oregon Health & Science University School research which suggested that homosexuality in sheep was caused by smaller ovine sexually dimorphic nuclei in the hypothalamus. As team leader professor Charles Roselli put it: "This particular study, along with others, strongly suggests that sexual preference is biologically determined in animals, and possibly in humans."

We at El Reg reckon it's about time these boys got their act together and provided definitive evidence one way or the other as to whether homosexuality in cows and sheep is caused by biological predetermination or environment. We're sure that other pressing concerns such as a cure for AIDS and the fight against cancer can be put on the back burner while the matter is resolved. ®

Related stories

Sheep pine for absent friends: official
Sheep like happy, smiley people: official
Inside the mind of the gay sheep

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.