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Jon Mooallem On Colbert (VIDEO): Talks Gay Animals

06/14/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

They gay?

That was the title of New York Times Magazine's cover story last week on whether animals can exhibit gay behavior. The author, Jon Mooallem, writes that there have been instances of same-sex activities in about 450 species, from female koalas that will mount each other to male dolphins penetrating each other in the blowhole. He appeared on The Colbert Report Tuesday night to discuss those findings and be mercilessly teased by Colbert, because Colbert is not just going to let a phrase like "penetrate in the blowhole" slide.

Mooallem attempts to convey the complexity of his argument, steering away from the idea that homosexual behavior in animals has anything to do with homosexuality in humans. But Colbert pushes for a simple answer to his question: "Do our animals gay?"

Mooallem argues that the implications of the word "gay" don't necessarily apply to animal behavior, and questions how you could really say that an animal is gay based on what our definition of the word is.

"I would say penetrating each other's blowholes might be one way to show that," Colbert offers.

Mooallem tries to stay on track, arguing that that doesn't necessarily mean the dolphin is perpetually oriented toward to other male dolphins. But then Colbert makes a valid point.

"I doubt anyone is going to forget that happened," Colbert says. "Penetrate one blowhole, I know, it follows you for the rest of your life."

WATCH Colbert make Mooallem squirm:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jon Mooallem
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