ANIMALS are usually as shy as most humans about having sex in public — owing to an evolutionary fear of others getting horny and trying to join in.
For many creatures, a roll in the hay in full view of prying eyes can reduce the odds of successfully mating, a study has found.
It risks being a turn-on for rivals who may attempt to muscle in on the action.
And it could spark jealousy or unsettle social groups that work together to hunt or raise offspring — all reducing the chances of them thriving if conceived.
Confining the deed to the bedroom or a secluded spot in the forest is less likely to arouse suspicion.
Experts from the Max-Planck Institute, in Germany, studied the mating practices of 249 human cultures and 34 animals.
They found a “striking uniformity” in human preferences for concealing sexual activity, even among married couples.
An exception among humans is the Goajiro in Colombia, where pairs reportedly took no steps to hide their romps.
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Among animals, the dominant male and female are more likely than subordinates to mate publicly — because they are more able to fight off any rivals who attempt to intervene.
Study leader Dr Yitzchak Ben-Mocha said: “Humans, and a specific category of nonhuman species, conceal matings to prevent sexual arousal in witnesses.
“This allows them to simultaneously maintain mating control over their partner(s) and cooperation with group members who are prevented from mating.”
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