'Sex pest' seal attacks penguin
An Antarctic fur seal has been observed trying to have sex with a king penguin.
The South African-based scientists who witnessed the incident say it is the most unusual case of mammal mating behaviour yet known.
The incident, which lasted for 45 minutes and was caught on camera, is reported in the Journal of Ethology.
The bizarre event took place on a beach on Marion Island, a sub-Antarctic island that is home to both fur seals and king penguins.
Why the seal attempted to have sex with the penguin is unclear. But the scientists who photographed the event speculate that it was the behaviour of a frustrated, sexually inexperienced young male seal.
Equally, it might be been an aggressive, predatory act; or even a playful one that turned sexual.
"At first glimpse, we thought the seal was killing the penguin," says Nico de Bruyn, of the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
The brazenness of the seal's behaviour left those who saw it in no doubt as to what was happening.
The 100kg seal first subdued the 15kg penguin by lying on it.
The penguin flapped its flippers and attempted to stand and escape - but to no avail.
The seal then alternated between resting on the penguin, and thrusting its pelvis, trying to insert itself, unsuccessfully.
After 45 minutes the seal gave up, swam into the water and then completely ignored the bird it had just assaulted, the scientists report.
I can just imagine the penguin limping back to his friends to tell this story. 'And those fucking scientists just stood there and took fucking pictures!' And some people think there's moral ambiguity about documentary filmmakers not interceding to help animals about to be eaten. I'd love to see someone show up at the next PETA rally against clubbing seals dressed in a giant penguin suit and holding up a sign that says, 'PETA supports rape'.
Speaking of PETA, I just ran across a news story where a band of their merry nutjobs is trying to get the jockey of the Kentucky derby horse that had to be put down arrested. Riiiigght. As if the guy somehow intended to lame and then lose a multi-million dollar race horse and threaten his own career in the process. They put out some hugeass list of demands that no one will pay any attention to. That will no doubt cause them to pout and then stage some ridculous event where they throw horse blood on people. Every one of those morons should be dragged out into the street and shot.