Homosexual Necrophilia In The Mallard Duck

[This post has been moved to Thinking-Critically.com]

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About Rodibidably

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
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12 Responses to Homosexual Necrophilia In The Mallard Duck

  1. pam says:

    I was searching on the behaviour of mallard ducks because I watch them on a daily basis in the
    creek in my backyard and would like to understand
    how they determine who is the “alpha” duck.

    Read this post…..as a healthcare provider and a
    woman….perhaps the behaviour was a duck form
    of CPR….not rape.

  2. Rodibidably says:

    pam,

    While it’s certainly possible that in some specific instances that one action is mistaken for another, this behavior is seen fairly regularly among ducks during flight, so it’s much easier to understand the specific action taking place with numerous examples.

    It’s always a good idea to look for alternative explanations, and in fact this particular example may have one, but I am unaware of any method of CPR which involves “penetration”, so my guess would be that what Dr Moeliker observed is what he claims to have observed.

  3. David says:

    I searched this, just because I get off on this stuff.

  4. STella says:

    I am one of those Ig-nobel people who could NOT see those words together and NOT pop a google to find the paper. I blame the BBC, and thank you and them.

    ST*

  5. Star says:

    same as STella, was reading the Ig Nobel article at the BBC, of course I had to explore further

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  8. Scratched head says:

    Is this rape? Do animals actually have consensual sex in the sense that we mean it? Did the “rapist” duck actually rape the “rape victim” in any real sense? To call this homosexual necrophiliac rape just seems to be imposing human constructs on an animal. Sure, if two human men were walking along and one dropped dead and the living one leapt on his corpse and had intercourse with it for over an hour, the term might be acceptable – and the living man would probably need to stay in a secure facility for a while. But ducks? Did the duck think – this is a male, it is dead, I will have non-consensual sex with his corpse?

    • Jeff Randall says:

      “Do animals actually have consensual sex in the sense that we mean it?”
      Yes. There are many examples of species where one gender (typically the males) “court” the other sex. In these cases is it the female that chooses which of the males she will have sex with. This choosing on her part is giving consent, by virtually any definition of the word.

      “Did the “rapist” duck actually rape the “rape victim” in any real sense?”
      Rape is defined as forced, unwanted sexual intercourse; or in criminal law, rape is an assault by a person involving sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent.
      I assume you would agree that if one party is dead, they are clearly unable to “consent”.
      There are MANY examples of animals that use sex to show dominance over other animals, including dolphins, spiders, ducks, geese, other birds, beetles, elephants raping and killing rhinoceroses, and more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-human_animal_sexual_behaviour#Coercive_sex

      “To call this homosexual necrophiliac rape just seems to be imposing human constructs on an animal.”
      I do agree with this sentiment as a basic rule of thumb. Far too often people put human ideas onto animals where they are not appropriate.
      However there are examples where it is justified. Studies have shown bonobos and chimpanzees to have empathy. Some species of birds, “great apes”, and octopi have shown the ability to make and use tools. Chimpanzees have shown they experience loss with the death of members of the group.
      And there are many other examples: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Human-Behavior-Found-in-Animals-55118.shtml

      “Sure, if two human men were walking along and one dropped dead and the living one leapt on his corpse and had intercourse with it for over an hour, the term might be acceptable – and the living man would probably need to stay in a secure facility for a while.”
      I’d say that’s an understatement…

      “But ducks? Did the duck think – this is a male, it is dead, I will have non-consensual sex with his corpse?”
      It’s hard to know what the duck was thinking at the time, but it seems fair to categorize the behavior.

  9. Lisa says:

    The reason I looked this up is because I live on a lake and see very strange homosexual/bisexual and multisexual(orges) between the ducks here.

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