Friday, May 09, 2008

Science you should know about: Homosexual necrophiliac duck rape

Moeliker (2002:fig. 2b): Wakka-cheeka-wakka-cheeka

Those funny guys at Zooillogix just covered the seal-brutalizes-penguin story that's been all over the news lately, which prompted me to post about my favorite scientific paper of all time:

Moeliker, C.W. 2001. The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard Anas platyrhynchos (Aves: Anatidae). DEINSEA 8: 243-247.

Here's the entire text of the abstract:
"On 5 June 1995 an adult male mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) collided with the glass facade of the Natuurmuseum Rotterdam and died. An other drake mallard raped the corpse almost continuously for 75 minutes. Then the author disturbed the scene and secured the dead duck. Dissection showed that the rape-victim indeed was of the male sex. It is concluded that the mallards were engaged in an "Attempted Rape Flight" that resulted in the first described case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard."

What the author doesn't mention in the abstract is that the 75-minute event ended prematurely when he separated the drake from the object of its perverted affection. Which makes me want to hit him (the author, not the drake). Because, why? Why would he end it? One minute was enough to document the behavior. After 75 minutes, surely any self-respecting scientist would want to know just how long this was going to continue, and watch until it was over. Now we'll never know. What a loss for science.

So if you see an animal doing something perverted--and they are, all the time, the unreconstructed little bastards--cowboy up and record the dad-blamed data. ALL OF IT.


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Blogger TheBrummell said...

You can hardly blame the author - it was the end of the day and he wanted to go home. Even a dutchman can watch a mallard get it on with a dead conspecific of the same sex for only so long.

The author probably had a craving for mayonaise on fries.

4:36 PM  

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