Alpaca sex is even weirder than you think

Mount Holyoke College Associate Professor Patricia Brennan’s research has revealed the mating method of alpacas to be unlike any other known mammal. During copulation, male alpacas have been found to inseminate females directly into the uterus.

A new study shows that alpaca sex is weird, biologically speaking.

Patricia Brennan, associate professor of biological sciences at Mount Holyoke College, and a team of biologists, in collaboration with the North American Camelid Studies Program, the Nuñoa Project, have discovered that male alpacas inseminate females directly into the uterus during mating.

The team examined the reproductive tracts of several female alpacas shortly after they were culled for meat.

The findings were reported to be “astonishing,” according to Nature World News. The news also made a splash on Gizmodo and New Scientist.

Brennan’s research was even mentioned by Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” during his regular segment, “Meanwhile.” [Section begins at 5:04.]

The study shows that the male alpaca’s penis, which is described as a “fibro-elastic phallus with a spear-like cartilage tip,” bypasses the vagina entirely and penetrates into the uterus.

The research also shows that this reproductive method inflicts small internal injuries, raising questions about copulatory harm and immunity of the female reproductive tract.

Read the full story

Contact us

The Office of Marketing and Communications spreads the word about Mount Holyoke College’s distinctive strengths and newsworthy accomplishments.

Emily Thurlow, Assistant Director, Public Affairs & Executive Communications
  • Assistant Director, Public Affairs & Executive Communications