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6. Mau M, Kaiser TM, Sudekum KH. Evidence for the presence of carbonic anhydrase 29-kDa-isoenzyme in salivary secretions of three ruminating species and the gelada baboon. Arch Oral Biol 2009; 54(4):354-360.

 Hydrophobins in ectomycorrhizal symbiosis: hypothesis

The parotid gland has the highest carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity of all ruminant salivary glands (1). Since the saliva is well buffered at a constant pH of 8 and flows continuously into the rumen, salivary CA might play an important role in maintaining a constant oral and ruminal milieu (2; 3). Especially, CA-II was shown to be essential for the production of regular amounts of saliva (4). In fact, almost half of the bicarbonate entering the rumen comes from saliva (5), where it is most likely produced by active carbonic anhydrases. One such enzyme is the secreted salivary CA-II, which is abundant in cattle and other ruminating animals such as camels or goats, whereas animals not necessarily relying on cellulosefermentation like baboons and humans have only small amounts of CA-II in their saliva (6).

" Hydrophobins in ectomycorrhizal symbiosis: hypothesis "

AGRIS: International Information System for the Agricultural Science and Technology

So while magpies drive cuckoos away from their nest or recognize foreign eggs and remove them, crows do not. But surely, even when costs are low, isn’t there an evolutionary advantage to avoiding raising someone else’s chick?

In the late 18th century, the German ornithologist Johann Bechstein presented a different idea. Instead of hosts being taken advantage of, he proposed that they were “beside themselves for joy” at the opportunity to raise a cuckoo chick. It was “an honor” to care for it. Modern biologists pooh-pooh this notion, because self-interest, not generosity, is the currency of evolution by natural selection. However, the results of a 16-year study published in the journal Science suggests he might have been on to something, if only accidentally.

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Why not, like Jane Thomas,  your very best S&L wildlife pictures to make a SLEF poster?

15. Nijboer J, Clauss M. Chapter 2: The digestive physiology of colobine primates. In: Fibre intake and faeces quality in leaf-eating primates (Doctoral thesis of Nijboer J), Ridderkerk, Netherlands, 2006; pp 9-28.

13. Hongoh Y. Toward the functional analysis of uncultivable, symbiotic microorganisms in the termite gut. Cell Mol Life Sci 2011; 68:1311-1325.

Skye and Lochalsh Environment Forum is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SC040820).
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This article was originally published on .

Given that we are most familiar with human orgasms, scientists have unsurprisingly looked for behavioral and physical correlates of what we sometimes experience – shuddering, muscular rigidity, a cessation of movement, vocalization, changes of facial expression, ejaculation. None of these are guaranteed, and consequently we should not expect them necessarily to be associated with sex in other species. But using this method, most commonly to study non-human primates, the animals perhaps most likely to display responses similar to humans, orgasm in many different species including macaques, orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees.

No evolutionary reason that we KNOW of.

This hypothesis about sex has been tested. Since the word “pleasure” is quite vague, scientists have tended to focus on orgasms. As a particularly intense form of sexual pleasure for many people, the logic has been that if non-humans experience orgasm, they are almost certainly experiencing pleasure.

How about, to ensure cooperation?

In fact, very few primatologists doubt that non-human primates experience orgasm – at least, male non-human primates. as to whether female primates (including humans) experience sexual pleasure in the same way male primates do, which raises some fairly important questions about how Western culture views female sexual agency. But some detailed studies of the stump-tailed macaque that females of this species, at least, demonstrate a capacity for orgasm.

History: The Formation of the Endosymbiotic Hypothesis

There’s no reason why an animal should seek sex unless they enjoy it. It is often proposed that an inherent “drive to reproduce” explains nonhuman sexual activity, but that is not an alternative here: if animals possess an instinct to reproduce, it needs to function somehow – and pleasure is a fairly basic motivator. The hypothesis that all sexually reproducing species experience sexual pleasure is, in itself, quite reasonable – as would be the hypothesis that animals find eating pleasurable.

The Endosymbiotic Theory is no different

Having said that, we can make educated guesses about whether sex is pleasurable for other species. Sex would be a very strange thing to seek if it didn’t bring some form of pleasure. It increases risk of disease, it wastes energy, it can seriously increase the likelihood of something bigger coming along and eating you (seriously, check out ).

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