Page 26

Dan’s Papers November 25, 2011 danshamptons.com Page 26

Sex

(continued from page 23)

succeeded in breeding a male and female okapi for the first time in captivity. There’s a little baby okapi running around now that is the pride of that establishment. Okapis, which look like a giraffe in the front and a zebra in the back, are antelope-like creatures of about 900 pounds that are on the endangered list because of their proclivity to not breed. You can put a male and female together. What they do is turn tail and run away from one another. It’s an appalling situation. Okapis are afraid of everybody. They are prey, they know it, and their solution to this problem has been to get themselves out somewhere to where they can entirely be alone. Until now, it’s been unknown how they ever get around to liking one another in order to make more Okapi. No one had ever seen them mate, of course, but it was assumed it took place with one mounting the other, which, as it turned out, is exactly how it was done. What did the zookeepers do to make this happen? An article in The New York Times described it. The zookeepers were very forthcoming in the answer. Patience they said. Incredible patience. Two Okapis were put in two adjacent enclosures. They could not see one another, but they could hear one another. Whenever either of them made a sound, the other would run to the far end of his or her enclosure. And that would make the first do the same. After about a month of this, the zookeepers opened the door between the two enclosures

just a crack. Now the Okapis could sniff the air and smell what the other was like. After a month of this, they opened the door enough so they could see each other. You see where this is going. And they did it. In another article in The New York Times there was a story about the difficulty that scientists have in studying how dragonflies mate. They can see that the male touches down

An Okapi.

on the top of the female and they connect. And they stay that way for several hours. After that, the female lays fertilized eggs. What they do during those hours, though, is baffling to scientists not because they can’t see the two together, they CAN see the two together. But the fact is that both the males and females have an astonishing variety of sexual organs that hook up, including grabbers, corkscrews,

Buying? Building? Renovating? Let me roll up my sleeves.

pinchers, things that rub or saw, all sorts of other things. What does what to what? And when? The Times interviewed an entomologist named Michael L. May who is making progress in this area and is very proud of himself. He has been breeding dragonflies. And now he has added a twist, if you will. He freezes the dragonflies in the act. Wait till you read how he does this. He freezes the first couple just one minute after they couple up. Then he dissects them to see what is going on. The next couple gets to have sex for two minutes before this guy freezes them. And the next couple gets three minutes. In this way, he has been able to begin to document what goes on during the two-hour period exactly, presuming—and I guess he can prove this—that each couple does it in the same way and in the same order of things, so he can bring it on home. That is his goal. I don’t know about you, but this gives me goose bumps. Now come the studies on humans. The first was done at Rutgers last month, the results of which were revealed last week. The researchers wanted to see how the brain would light up when a human has an orgasm. They figured the moment of truth would light up the pleasurable parts of the brain and they were right about that. Presumably, taking a video of the brain before, during and after orgasm would contribute to the advancement of science. I suppose it would. (continued on page 34)

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Dan's Papers November 25, 2011  

Dan's Papers November 25, 2011 Issue

Dan's Papers November 25, 2011  

Dan's Papers November 25, 2011 Issue

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