The Antarctica Files: Penguin Sex.

… I didnt notice it at the time, but I did after my bud uploaded this to YouTube: Please note that while several of the penguins in the vicinity just sat on their eggs, minding their own business– there is a creeper penguin, like, right there, just staring… staring at the other two penguins having penguin sex… breathing…

I laughed really hard at that.

But then I realized that we were even creepier creepers, recording and watching two members of a different species having sex.

:-/

BUT ITS FOR SCIENCE!

Apparently, humans have a long history of being penguin creepers (FOR SCIENCE!).  Its one of the first things we did when we got to Antarctica:

Hidden for nearly 100 years for being too “graphic,” a report of “hooligan” behaviors, including sexual coercion, by Adelie penguins observed during Captain Scott’s 1910 polar expedition have been uncovered and interpreted.

George Levick, a surgeon and the medical officer on Scott’s famous 1910-1913 expedition to the South Pole, called the Terra Nova expedition, detailed his account of the penguins’ seemingly odd behaviors in a four-page pamphlet “Sexual Habits of Adélie Penguins” in 1915. (The expedition, led by Navy Captain Robert Falcon Scott, would arrive at the South Pole to discover that Amundsen had beaten them there.

This is how we reported it before YouTube:

“Some of the things he noticed profoundly shocked him,” said the museum’s bird curator Douglas Russell, who discovered the pamphlet. For instance, Levick noted the penguins’ autoerotic tendencies, and the seemingly aberrant behavior of young unpaired males and females, including necrophilia, sexual coercion, sexual and physical abuse of chicks, non-procreative sex and homosexual behaviors.

At the time, Levick was so shocked by what he saw he recorded the events in Greek to disguise the information, at one point writing, “There seems to be no crime too low for these penguins.”

But them penguins, man, theyre messed up (lol @ me passing judgement on the sexual activities of penguins described 100 years ago):

For instance, on Nov. 10, 1911, Levick wrote in Greek (translated here): “This afternoon I saw a most extraordinary site [sic]. A Penguin was actually engaged in sodomy upon the body of a dead white throated bird of its own species. The act occurred a full minute, the position taken up by the cock differing in no respect from that of ordinary copulation, and the whole act was gone through down to the final depression of the cloaca.”

In another entry, this one written in English on Dec. 6 of that year, he wrote: “I saw another act of astonishing depravity today. A hen which had been in some way badly injured in the hindquarters was crawling painfully along on her belly. I was just wondering whether I ought to kill her or not, when a cock noticed her in passing, and went up to her. After a short inspection he deliberately raped her, she being quite unable to resist him.”

This is how you ‘judge’ the sexual activities of penguins described 100 years ago:

And while Levick may have viewed the interactions between penguins through an anthropomorphic lens, today that’s not the case, the researchers note.

Necrophilia, for instance, is not the same in penguins and humans; Rather than being sexually aroused by a hot gal, male penguins are chemically wired to respond in certain ways to a seemingly compliant female of breeding age.

“I’m very pleased that, 97 years after Levick submitted it for publication, the study has finally been published,” Russell said. In fact, no other studies on this colony have been published, the researchers note.

SCIENCE!

Comments

  1. #1 chagrined
    June 11, 2012

    These penguins are fuk’n perverted … lol

  2. #2 Cain
    June 12, 2012

    Um…watching strangers bang is creepy now? Good to know.

  3. #3 Slothrop
    June 12, 2012

    I know this is completely the wrong spot, but can’t seem to find your contact email on the new layout.

    Anything to see here:

    http://www.lfpress.com/life/healthandfitness/2012/04/04/19593266.html

  4. #4 Slothrop
    June 12, 2012

    Also doesn’t seem the penguins would mind

  5. #5 windy
    June 15, 2012

    Awesome that the research finally got published! This part was a bit funny though:

    Rather than being sexually aroused by a hot gal, male penguins are chemically wired to respond in certain ways to a seemingly compliant female of breeding age.

    But those are roughly the same thing, expressed in two different ways – so it doesn’t really help to explain the differences in sexual behavior between humans and penguins.

    Maybe 100 years from now, people will be laughing at how prudish today’s researchers sound when they’re talking about human-animal similarities? :)