Gay animals ‘come out’ in Oslo exhibition

OSLO, Oct 28, 2006 (AFP) – Giraffes mounting, aroused whales mating and dragonflies copulating — perfectly normal, tender scenes — although perhaps not for all, as in this case these animals are of the same sex. Breaking what is taboo for some, the Oslo Natural History Museum is currently showing an exhibition on homosexuality in the animal kingdom which organisers say is the first of its kind in the world.

“As homosexual people are often confronted with the argument that their way of living is against the principles of nature, we thought that … as a scientific institution, we could at least show that this is not true,” exhibition organiser Geir Soeli tells AFP.

“You can think whatever you want about homosexuals but you cannot use that argument because it is very natural, it’s very common in animal kingdom,” Soeli adds.

From beetles to swans and creatures considered to have a more macho image, such as lions and sperm whales, homosexual behavior has been detected in 1,500 species.

The exhibition, entitled “Against Nature?”, displays examples of this behavior in pictures and models.

In one image two female adult bonobo chimpanzees are having sex, oblivious to a young male who is attempting to