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Homosexual Necrophilia in Ducks

Necrophilia is an extremely uncommon occurrence in the animal kingdom but it has been recorded on a few occasions. One such observation was made by Kees Moeliker of the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam.

Having heard the distinctive thud of a bird flying into his office window, he looked down to see an inquisitive male mallard standing next to corpse of a second male mallard. After prodding the bird with its beak for a few minutes the bird proceeded to mount the deceased individual and copulate with it.

The copulation lasted seventy-five minutes in total, including two short breaks for a breather. Moeliker witnessed the whole event (presumably taking notes throughout) and later commented "When one died, the other one just went for it and didn't get any negative feedback - well, didn't get any feedback."

This is the first ever recorded case of necrophilia in the mallard duck so thank goodness Kees Moeliker was on hand to report the whole sordid tale. Who says museums are boring?

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15 Jan 2010
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