Header Image by Shriram Rajagopalan – Gelada Baboon in Bronx Park South, NYC
From the Baboons in the News department – a recent article about baboon mating got some play on multiple news outlets. Basically the story is that male baboons were found to be more discerning than expected when it comes to selecting their female partners.
Humans had assumed that the size and color of a female baboon’s backside would be the determining factor.
That turned out to be untrue, and Homo sapiens headline writers had something of a field day with it.
Admittedly, baboon sexuality is not a common topic of intense discussion among ordinary people. But we can easily assign a certain shallowness to baboon habits, and so it doesn’t take long to come up with a theory of how the laws of baboon attraction might work.
But when that theory is suddenly turned bass-ackwards, there is a surprising amount uniformity in the creative response.
- For Baboons, There’s More To Love Than Just Big Butts
- Big Butts Aren’t Everything to Male Baboons
- Baboons Don’t Like Big Butts After All – Sorry, Sir Mix-A-Lot
- Male Baboons Care About More than Just Big Behinds
- Big Butts Can Lie
Hmm. Somebody sounds disappointed. Are our confounded expectations really The Story here? Who’s the shallow one now?
Instead of discovering baboons mating in an orgy of butt-centric fascination, researchers found male baboons are drawn to females who take a longer time to start ovulating again after giving birth. Why? Perhaps the guys think their offspring have a better chance of survival when mom is unencumbered by additional suitors.
Granted, the co-parenting skills of male baboons are not put in a flattering light by this preference. He basically wants the girl who’s going to be tied to the youngsters for the longest stretch of uninterrupted time.
That, it seems to me, is the real story. Yet I didn’t see this headline anywhere:
For Male Baboons, It’s All About When The Rearing Ends.
But seriously, would it kill you to take them for an afternoon so I can catch up on my sleep?