This is a real article discussing an apparently real science thing about inter-sepecies copulation – and I’m sharing it with you because of this hilarious image that someone far more clever than I paired with it (below).
“Seals Caught Having Sex With Penguins” via IFLScience.com (11/17/14)
It seems that the Antarctic may be a hotspot for documenting disturbing animal sex acts. Many years ago, British explorer George Murray Levick caught Adélie penguins engaging in all sorts of debauchery, such as necrophilia, sexual coercion and sexual abuse of chicks. Now, scientists have observed fur seals trying to have sex with penguins. While these observations may not be as shocking as what Levick documented, they are unusual nonetheless.
This bizarre sexual behavior was actually first documented in 2006 when scientists spotted a fur seal trying to copulate with a king penguin on Marion Island, a remote and mostly barren island in the sub-Antarctic. At the time, the researchers speculated that the incident may have occurred because the seal was frustrated or sexually inexperienced. Alternatively, they suggested, it could have been an act of aggression as the seal attempted to protect its territory. Or it simply could have been a playful act that turned sexual.
Upon returning to the island to continue wildlife observations, scientists observed the strange act a further three times, which took them by surprise to say the least.
“Honestly I did not expect that follow up sightings of a similar nature to that 2006 one would ever be made again,” said lead scientist Nico de Bruyn, “and certainly not on multiple occasions.”
As described in the journal Polar Biology, the team observed young male Antarctic fur seals sexually coercing (using force to achieve mating) king penguins on three separate occasions. The gender of the penguins was unknown, but they appeared to be in good health.
(pictured: image via a genius)
* * *
Got a sociology question? Need some social justice informed life advice? Contact me via this fun form here.