Scientists Capture Unique Footage Of Seals Attempting To Mate With Penguins
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Scientists Capture Unique Footage Of Seals Attempting To Mate With Penguins

October 26, 2019

COMM: In this shocking footage taken by researchers a seal forces itself on a helpless King Penguin.
Scientists at the Mammal Research Institute on Marion Island, in the sub-antarctic Indian
ocean recorded these rare events as they carried out their routine observation of seals and
killer whales. 00:25
COMM: The first unusual behaviour they notice is in the way seals hunted penguins on the
island. 00:31
NICO: The fur seals, especially antarctic fur seals eat king penguins, and other species
of penguin on Marion Island, it’s very unique in that in Marion they do it on land, so not
on the in shore waters but actually on the beach they attack and kill the penguins and
then they eat them. 00:48
COMM: They first saw an antarctic fur seal trying to mate with a king penguin in 2006,
since then they have witnessed the bizarre interspecies interaction on a further three
occasions. And their observations recorded in the scientific journal Polar Biology. 01:03
COMM: After the first sighting they had their theories about why this behaviour might have
occurred. 01:08
NICO: So we can only speculate as to why this behaviour is taking place, we know that in
that first occasion that the seal was seen with this penguin, then the penguin was let
go, the penguin went off fine. 01:22
NICO: And the hypothesis on that occasion in consequence to the fact that we have seen
these seals eat king penguins that perhaps this hunting behaviour, this hunting instinct
had been redirected to a sexual behaviour. 01:40
COMM: But then further sightings of the unusual behaviour have led them to re-think their
early theory. 01:44
NICO: After one of the occasions where the seal sexually harasses the penguin, the seal
actually killed and ate part of the penguin. So that sort of throws that part of the hypothesis
on it’s head. 01:56
COMM: They’ve also ruled out failure of mate recognition, and simple sexual frustration
on the part of the young males unable to compete for a mate. 02:03
NICO: So one of the hypothesis that we have is that this is aberrant behaviour in one
or two seals, perhaps one seal at some particular time because other young males observed this
behaviour and by the time that they were at that stage and all of these components put
together, his higher testosterone levels, the breeding season pressure and all of the
signals that are telling them you have to mate with something now. 02:32
NICO: Perhaps then this is learnt behaviour from something they have observed in the past,
has then come through but it’s speculative. We really don’t know but the fact that it’s
occurred more frequently now in the last few years as opposed to twenty years of never
been observed tells us that perhaps this is learnt behaviour. 02:49
COMM: Of the four recorded incidents, only one penguin died, the others were released
and rejoined the other penguins. It’s not known if the birds were male or female.

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  1. Well irony fact otter also relief their sex frustration by rapes baby seal until they die and keep having sex with it for days

  2. Looks like that King Penguin just became a Queen Penguin! Let's hope those seals don't get the same treatment from orca whales!

  3. This guy is really over thinking this. Just a horny seal who wanted a easy nut plain and simple. They also want to show the penguins who's boss

  4. Seal is like:
    I like you, and I want you. Now we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way.

    The choice is yours.

  5. YouTube algorithm: Check out this video of a seal trying to mate with a penguin.
    Comments section: We don't know how we got here either but please accept this consolation prize on behalf of everyone.

  6. I think its learned behavior. A group of seals seen it happening and decided to get a camera while another just so happen to have his "flipper" phone with a camera. both captured the footage and then posted it on youtube. So, the footage got "all viral". Then it became trendy and that how we know.

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