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Do humans have a mating season? © Getty Images

Do humans have a mating season?

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We share a behaviour with Bonobo chimps that makes us unique on the world of mammals.

Asked by: Mark Kawa, by email

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No. Women ovulate roughly once every 28 days but are theoretically sexually receptive, regardless of fertility, for virtually the entire duration of their menstrual cycle. This concealed ovulation is almost unique to humans and may have evolved as a way of reducing conflict over mating partners in groups.

Bonobo chimps are the only other mammal that's been observed behaving this way.

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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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