Seals Accused Of Sexually Attacking Penguins
Scientists documenting wildlife in the sub-Antarctic are shocked after witnessing multiple incidents in which fur seals sexually harassed penguins.
The Antarctic fur seals of Marion Island, in the southern Indian Ocean, often hunt king penguins for food. But in 2006, researchers <a target="_blank" href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00300-014-1618-3" target="_witnessed a seal sexually violate one of the penguins. Through 2012, they noted three additional incidents, and captured at least one on camera.
All four known sexual incidents followed a common pattern. Each time a seal chased, captured and mounted the penguin. The seal then attempted copulation several times, lasting about five minutes each, with periods of rest in between… In three of the four recorded incidents the seal let the penguin go. But on one of the more recent occasions, the seal killed and ate the penguin after trying to mate with it.
Male and female penguins mate through an opening called the cloaca, and in some instances, the seals are thought to have penetrated the birds.
Researchers Nico de Bruyn and William Haddad, of the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, think that the seals are learning the aberrant behavior from other seals on —> Read More Here