Yeah… That title is not a typo, it is the real deal. Would you believe that some ducks engage in necrophilia? If that’s not enough, the same breed of duck also engages in rape and homosexual necrophilia.
We have become well aware that the animal kingdom can be a fierce and cruel place, thanks mainly to the likes of National Geographic and David Attenborough. Most of the time the animals behave the way they do simply to survive. But sometimes you just really have to wonder why some animals are so cruel, especially when some of their behavior has nothing to do with survival. You may have read one of our facts about some penguins acting inappropriately, or our one about sea otters raping and drowning baby seals. It seems as though ducks are not much better.
A recent study of mallard ducks has discovered some rather disturbing behavior that is nearly as bad as that of penguins. It has been found that one in every ten are homosexual. Now that would hardly raise an eyebrow, especially in more liberal countries. But their other sexual activities surely must raise some eyebrows.
Mallard ducks regularly participate in flight rape. The males will pursue others in an attempt to forcibly mate with them. This forced mating, known among humans as rape, is normal duck sexual behavior. It is a way to ensure diversity in the genetic code. But how do we get from rape to necrophilia? We can thank Dutch researcher Kees Moeliker for the answer.
Moeliker first witnessed duck necrophilia whilst working in his office. One day he heard a loud bang on the glass panes of the building. He went down stairs to see if the window was damaged. What he found was not a damaged window, but a lifeless drake. What he assumed happened was that the duck had flown into the side of the building and fell several metres to its death. Nearby was another drake, and he sat and watched what was about to happen.
The other male approached the dead bird and began pecking it on its back, bill and back of its head. It then mounted the dead water fowl and began having sex with it. This act of homosexual duck necrophilia didn’t end quickly either. It lasted for 77 minutes. During that time the necrophilic duck only stopped raping the dead bird twice, and only for a few minutes. The act finally ended when Moeliker approached to within 5 metres of the two and the offending drake moved away.
Moeliker won a Nobel Prize for biology for improbable research.