This exhibition is about the relationship between sex and evolution and the bizarre, surprising adaptations that animals have evolved to procreate as much as possible.
“We ask people to be open-minded when looking at potentially surprising, maybe shocking things that animals do that would be outlawed in human society.”
Visitors are greeted by a video projection of bonobo apes, some of our closest relatives, having sex — sometimes with a baby clinging on the back, or midway through munching a pineapple.
“We can’t judge other animals by our moral codes, just as we don’t base our rules on their behaviour,” museum-goers are told.
TV screens also show Isabella Rossellini’s humorous “Green Porno” clips, with the Italian film actress dressing up as animals and acting out their mating rituals.
The exhibition, which because of its content is aimed at the over-16s, shows the seduction techniques deployed by different species and the thorny issues of sexual selection and male-female power battles.
Stuffed rabbits and foxes in the act are on show, while penis bones are also displayed, from the giant-sized walrus example to the hair’s breadth penis bone of a bat.
One of the chief exhibits is Guy the Gorilla, London Zoo’s most famous post-war resident. Now stuffed, he exemplifies the kind of massive primate who would run a harem of women, chase off rivals, yet display a gentle side too