They’re Nothing but Prostitutes [37]

London – The shocking truth about Antarctic penguins secret life of “vice” was exposed in the British press, in reports detailing how female birds run a sophisticated prostitution racket.

Scientists on Ross Island, 1287 km from the South Pole, told the journal Auk, quoted by the Daily Telegraph, how they had observed male penguins paying for sex with stones. The newspaper said that stones, which are needed for nest platforms to keep eggs out of the icy waters can become very scarce and difficult to extract from the frozen mud.

Some penguins will steal stones off one another risking attack from their owners. Fiona Hunter and Lloyd Davis of Cambridge University, have seen female penguins lure males for sex in exchange for the stones. “Females have figured out that one way to steal the stones without attack is to swap copulations for them”. One bird had amassed 62 pebbles this way, they said.

This really usefull information was also brought to you courtesy of the Southern Oceans Seabird Study Association’s Newsletter “Albatross June 1998”