97-year-old Pamphlet Reveals Depraved Sexual Behavior of Penguins | After Dark | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Savage Love

97-year-old Pamphlet Reveals Depraved Sexual Behavior of Penguins

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Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 5:00 PM

click to enlarge Maybe it's time to stop letting your penguins read "50 Shades of Grey".
  • Maybe it's time to stop letting your penguins read "50 Shades of Grey".

After nearly 100 years, London's Natural History Museum is finally opening its doors to some classic penguin porn.

The Museum recently announced that a 97-year-old pamphlet on penguin sexual behavior that was once considered too perverse and depraved for inclusion in their archives has finally been accepted.

Biologist and physician Dr. George Levick wrote the pamphlet, entitled "The Sexual Habits of the Adelie Penguins" after his experiences as part of Captain's Scott's "Terra Nova" expedition to Antarctica. The contents were considered so controversial that they were left out of the original expedition reports and lost among a hundred years of paperwork. Levick described "hooligan" sexual behavior by penguins at Cape Adare, including necrophilia, autoerotic behavior, sexual abuse of chicks, sexual coercion and homosexuality.

click to enlarge Dr. George Levick "skinning the penguin". That's not a euphemism.
  • Dr. George Levick "skinning the penguin". That's not a euphemism.

"There seems to be no crime too low for these penguins," wrote Levick, scribbling his notes in Greek to avoid having his sick sexual observations discovered.

The pamphlet was recently rediscovered among some other old documents by Douglas Russell, the bird curator at the Natural History Museum at Tring. Luckily, 2012 London society is a lot more accepting of dirty birds, and the pamphlet and Levick's original notes are proudly on display.

So, what turned people around? When did we become open to dirty, violent penguin sex? And would it be any better if it was narrated by Morgan Freeman?

Russell says that now, scientists hold fewer moral judgments about animal sexual behavior:

"Today, it is understood that acts like necrophilia are not the same in penguins as in humans. Penguins are chemically wired to respond to a seemingly compliant female of breeding age, rather than being sexually aroused."

Let this be a lesson to you ladies: just because he's wearing a tuxedo doesn't mean he's a gentleman.

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