Scientists have just returned from studying king penguins and they've learned quite a bit. In fact, they brought you a souvenir video. Please enjoy this lesson about the seals and the penguins. (And how incredibly cruel the animal kingdom can be and also feel inspired to do something different tomorrow; something that will change your life.) (Because: poor fucking penguin.)
It's not a secret that penguins are not particular when it comes to mates. According to research, those adorable mate-for-life creatures are actually sex monsters, fucking anything that breathes...or doesn't. They're not particular, they're just here for a good time. What's strange, though, is that seals (who usually eat penguins) are now being observed having sex with their prey and then sometimes letting the penguin go (possibly because of how tiring the whole thing is.) Isn't nature beautiful? (Read: depressing and an excellent example of how bleak and empty life can be.)
From I Fucking Love Science:
All four acts observed so far seemed to follow a similar pattern where the seal chases, captures and then mounts the penguin. The seal then attempted to copulate with the penguin several times, with each effort lasting around five minutes. Of course, all of this harassment was tiring, so the seal would take a break in between attempts.
Like most birds, penguins don't have external genitalia and instead possess an opening called a cloaca. They mate by pressing these organs together in what is known as a "cloacal kiss," in which the sperm is transferred to the female. Traumatically for the penguins, some of the seals were thought to have successfully penetrated the victims' cloacas during the act as blood was observed around the area afterwards. Although seals often catch and consume penguins, in all but one of the acts the seal let the penguin go afterward. After the most recently documented incident, however, the seal killed and ate the penguin.
Why are seals doing this? According to a new article in Polar Biology, it might be because the penguins are easy to catch and practice having sex with. Kind of like when we used to chill in our rooms and kiss our hands to practice making out? For some of us, of course, it went much farther than that.
Fur seals have been known to engage in sexual acts with penguins in the past, and research dating as far back as 2006 confirms that this is not an uncommon occurrence. Now scientists are just taping the entire thing and putting it on the internet. TO be honest, I kind of feel bad for the penguin, but I guess that's the natural order of things? (Related: I am really appreciating being a human right now.)
H/T: Jenny Kutner