PolygamousRanchKid writes "Accounts of unusual sexual activities among penguins, observed a century ago by a member of Captain Scott's polar team, are finally being made public. However, scientists now understand the biological reasons behind the acts that Dr Levick considered "depraved".
He was shocked by what he described as the "depraved" sexual acts of "hooligan" males who were mating with dead females.
On his return to Britain, Dr Levick attempted to publish a paper entitled "the natural history of the adelie penguin", but according to Douglas Russell, curator of eggs and nests at the Natural History Museum, it was too much for the times. "What is happening there is not in any way analogous to necrophilia in the human context," Mr Russell said. "It is the males seeing the positioning that is causing them to have a sexual reaction. "They are not distinguishing between live females who are awaiting congress in the colony, and dead penguins from the previous year which just happen to be in the same position."
Mr Russell believes they show a man who struggled to understand penguins as they really are. "He, to a certain extent, falls into the same trap as an awful lot of people in seeing penguins as bipedal birds and seeing them as little people. They're not. They are birds and should be interpreted as such.""
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