Now that I have your attention, I am hoping to make a few valid points, before I get into the reason you clicked on this link…
First of all, this is a TRUE story, not just a trick to get clicks. (well, not ONLY to get clicks) I came across this particular topic because of a podcast I listen to on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I listen to a NUMBER of podcasts, so I can’t be certain which one it was on, but my best guess is This Week In Science. When I first heard this topic come up, I knew it would be one which I would be posting an article about, I was just unsure of how I would tackle it at the time.
On the serious side of this subject, from Wikipedia:
Animal sexual behavior takes many different forms, even within the same species. Researchers have observed monogamy, promiscuity, sex between species, sexual arousal from objects or places, sex apparently via duress or coercion, copulation with dead animals, homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual sexual behaviour, and situational sexual behaviour and a range of other practices among animals other than humans. Related studies have noted diversity in sexed bodies and gendered behaviour, such as intersex and transgender animals.
The study of animal sexuality (and primate sexuality especially) is a rapidly developing field. It used to be believed that only humans and a handful of species performed sexual acts other than for procreation, and that animals’ sexuality was instinctive and a simple response to the “right” stimulation (sight, scent). Current understanding is that many species that were formerly believed monogamous have now been proven to be promiscuous or opportunistic in nature; a wide range of species appear both to masturbate and to use objects as tools to help them do so; in many species animals try to give and get sexual stimulation with others where procreation is not the aim; and homosexual behavior has now been observed among 1,500 species and in 500 of those it is well documented.
On the less serious side, one of the reasons I was interested in posting this article, was to see if/who does a search based on the subject of this post. I mean seriously, what person, and for what reason, does a search for homosexual necrophilia in animals. Obviously I did this search myself after hearing the podcast in my preparation of this article, but I’m curious who else searches on this topic, and why they do this search.
Back to a more serious reason for this post, is this may become the starting point for future posts on homophobia in the United States, and the establishment of completely equal rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation.
Necrophilia in animals is where a living animal engages in a sexual act with a dead animal. In one of the most well-known examples, Kees Moeliker of the Rotterdam Natural History Museum, Netherlands observed sexual activities outside his office between a live duck and a dead one.
On 5 June 1995, while he was sitting in his office at the Natuurmuseum Rotterdam, Moeliker heard the distinctive thud of a bird hitting the glass facade of the building. Upon inspection, he discovered a drake mallard lying dead about two meters from the building. An adult male mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) had collided with the glass façade of the Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam and died.
Next to the downed bird there was a second drake mallard standing close by. As he observed the odd couple, the living drake picked at the corpse of the dead one for a few minutes and then, without provocation, it mounted the corpse and began copulating with it. This other drake mallard raped the corpse almost continuously for 75 minutes, in which time, according to Moeliker, the living drake took two short breaks before resuming with copulating behavior. Then the author disturbed the scene and secured the dead duck. Dissection showed that the rape-victim indeed was of the male sex.
Moeliker surmised that at the time of the collision with the window the two mallards were engaged in a common motif in duck behavior which is called rape flight. “When one died the other one just went for it and didn’t get any negative feedback—well, didn’t get any feedback,” according to Moeliker.
After the live bird was shooed away, inspection of the dead mallard revealed that it was male, thus making this the first observed case of homosexual necrophilia in mallards. The case was reported scientifically in Deinsea 8-2001, along with photos. The paper also netted Moeliker an Ig Nobel Prize in biology awarded for improbable research.