Thursday, April 03, 2008

Duck Rape

So there are these ducks that live along the Boulware Trail, a walking path near my office that runs parallel to a creek. The ducks are Mallards, and there are two pairs (that I know of) that live along the creek on the 1/2 mile or so of path that I occasionally walk as a break from work.

Today there was quite a ruckus. One of the pairs of Mallards was being attacked by a third, male Mallard. As I watched, the interloper tried again and again to copulate with the one female. She resisted by trying to fly away, but was overpowered. Her mate resisted by attacking the interloper, biting him on the head and pushing him underwater.

After a few minutes of this, the attacking male apparently got what he came for and broke off. The original pair then swam away together. And it turns out this isn't so rare. Mallard rape is well documented, and male and female duck genitalia have evolved to address this problem.

See "Duck genitals locked in arms race" (with pictures!)

Google has 1.37M results for "duck rape", including YouTube videos.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Don,

I'm Egyptian poet, Yahia Lababidi, and tickled to be quoted in your wacky-wise pages a while back...

Meantime, my book of aphorisms -from which you quote-is currently available for pre-order directly from Jane Street Press (20% off)

If work speaks to you, perhaps you could recommend me to friends who are also fellow word-lovers?

All the best,

ps-from my book:

1. Impulses we attempt to strangle only develop stronger muscles.

2. There is only one way to live against one’s own nature: unhappily.

3. History does not repeat itself, human nature does.

4. The small spirit is quick to misperceive an insult, the large spirit is slow to receive a compliment.

5. However jeweled the mind, we also think through its defects.

6. Time heals old wounds only because there are new wounds to attend to.

7. A good listener helps us overhear ourselves.

8. Marrying for looks is like buying books for their pictures - a good idea, if one cannot read.

9. Opposites attract, similarities last.

10. The most consummate actors are too accomplished in life to risk exposure on film.