"Penguins, perverts" troubled Captain Scott and his expedition


11/06/2012

In Britain, the records were published one hundred years old member of the expedition to the South Pole, who witnessed the unusual sexual behavior of penguins, and thus found it such a "perverse" and shocking that I decided not to share their observations with the general public.

Scientists of today’s time with the find a rational explanation for such sexual displays of penguins that seem perverse 100 years ago. Dr. George Murray Levick became in 1910 member of the famous Antarctic expedition of Captain Robert Scott, which ended in the death of the latter and his four companions.

Levick himself survived because he did not join the main group, which was directed to the pole, and was forced to spend the winter in Terra Nova Bay on the island.

Summer of 1911-1912, the city held a scientist at Cape Adare, while watching the population of one of the most common types of Adelie penguins. Dr. Levick was the first scientist to see the full cycle of breeding these animals.

However, among the set of observations that have been made to them that summer, there were some that seemed too shocking Edwardian gentleman.

Dr. Levick was genuinely outraged "sexual perversion" Adele: namely the fact that the males mated with females already dead. Levick even did some writing in Greek, so unprepared audience did not recognize it.

Dr. Levick tried on his return to the UK to publish their writing, but, according to Douglas Russell, Natural History Museum in London, it was at that time too bold.

"He presented this scenic and extraordinary report on the sexual behavior of penguins colleagues, but the scientific community of the time considered it a bit difficult to publish" - says Russell.

The chapter on sexual behavior of Adelie ultimately was not included in the book he wrote Levick, Sidney Harmer, head of zoology at the Natural History Museum of the time, sent out a hundred copies of the report to many leading zoologists.

According to Douglas Russell, the scientists of the past epoch just did not have enough knowledge to properly interpret the observations Levik, which he saw as examples of necrophilia in animals.

"It is not in our understanding in no way analogous to necrophilia - says Russell. - Males see females in a pose that they cause sexual response. They do not make the difference between living females that are ready for intercourse, and individuals are already dead, who were randomly in the same position. "

Out of a hundred made Harmer, only two copies of the report have survived to the present day. Reprinted version of Douglas Russell, along with his colleagues published in the journal Polar Record.

The scientist says that he discovered quite by accident Levik copy of the report.

"I was flipping through once archival documents about George Murray Levik and found among them a striking coincidence that the note, which was titled" Sexual practices Adele, not for publication. "This title has been typed in bold capital letters."

"The report was full of evidence of the penguins females forced to have sex, they commit physical and sexual abuse of chicks like sex involved is clearly not for reproduction. Report also concludes the description of homosexual contacts between the same penguins. This was absolutely awesome," - says Russell.

Levik report, which was written by hand, exhibited for the first time at the Museum of Natural History on display. Douglas Russell believes that the records zoologist says a lot about the penguins, and the science of the era.

"Levick got, in some sense, in the same trap as many other scientists who had seen penguins in the two-legged birds that look like little people. But they are not people, and birds - and they need to learn it from this position," - adds he says.

Original: bbc.co.uk


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