Kees Moeliker: How a dead duck changed my life

One afternoon, Kees Moeliker got a research opportunity few ornithologists would wish for: A flying duck slammed into his glass office building, died, and then … what happened next would change his life. [Note: Contains graphic images and descriptions of sexual behavior in animals.]

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Comment (174)

  1. What has been tagged as aberrant sexual behaviour in humans also occurs in animals as part of their natural, instinctive behaviour. Copulation as physiological need (hetero-sex, same-sex, dead, alive, real or statue), the need to fight against an enemy, a "threat" (the bird that strikes over and over against its reflection on the window), etc. This was an interesting reminder for all of us to always consider the biological basis of human conduct, before we pass judgment.. and laws.

  2. It seems to be more common amongst aquatic species, dolphins, manatees, etc. Having said that, bonobos also do the nasty face-to-face, so it may be a little harsh to blame it on the Christians.

  3. did he finish up his research? I waited for him to come up with a conclusion of his research but then nothing. He even raised even more questions at the end of the talk.

  4. This is NOT an April 1st joke. Just google the guys name and "ig nobel", that research is REAL. Besides, it's nothing unexpected except for Americans, who have a very strange relationship to everything "sex" (but don't care ab out exploding heads and extreme violence – as long as the breasts remain covered).

  5. Im inclined to agree with you on that one. However my, otherwise quite agreeable, retriever puppy recently made a fine, but soft little turd mountain naturally occur on my equally fine bedspread, and I must confess that while this was perhaps not entirely unexpected, I found the natural process of removal ever so slightly scopically harrowing

  6. Crikey, where did that anti-American rant come from? Issues much? Sure, Americans are more conservative than Europeans in general when it comes to the subject of sex, but as you can tell from Hollywood, that doesn't encompass all Americans. I'm a European living in America and daily life as it pertains to the subject of sex really isn't that different. Sweeping statements have a tendency to make one look quite foolish.

  7. Maybe this video is an attempt to ease the shame and embarrassment we feel when we hear stories about people committing similar acts. because, when you ask " How could they do something like that??" to be told that there are a number of males in all species ,not just humans, that find it impossible to resist an easy lay..no matter what the circumstances…is a little easier to hear than the excuse "you don't look at the fireplace when you're poking the fire" .. I think..!

  8. If they laugh at things that are meant to be slightly humorous, then the speaker's confidence grows and the lecture will be better. It is not idiotic to be a supportive audience.

  9. I had the same problem with blue tits attacking my bedroom window at 6am every morning. So i cut out an owl picture and put it on there problem solved. But a gray herron tryed to make love to the paper owl.

  10. I did google about the Ig Nobel Prize and I found some really interesting information, especially about the about ''Rebecca Waber and Dan Ariely for demonstrating that expensive placebos are more effective than inexpensive placebos''. This is the most unusual but also meaningful Prize I've ever heard in science. Many thanks for sharing!!!

  11. i seriously doubt that's why they are laffing babe, but cute theory. can't remember hte last time i laffed at something b/c I wanted to increase someone's confidence, but hey, we all have our reasons. . .

  12. Comedy depends a lot on expectations. I watched a comedy movie a while back… At least it was marketed as a comedy, and the trailer made it look like a decent comedy. It barely made me chuckle was very let down. When there is no expectation of humor, and someone does or says something even slightly humorous, like a doctor who's good with jokes. Its hilarious because its somewhere your not expecting to laugh, so a moderate joke becomes pretty good.

  13. There is a video here on youtube that shows the same behavior among cats. I believe the cat in the the video does not try reanimate the other one but it tries to initiate a copulation.
    watch?v=Y-A2cCESNbQ
    I speculate that these animals confuse the position of the carcass with a mating position.

  14. Ducks have particularly aggressive sexual behavior. I have lived on a boat for 8 years and I have witnessed many times, duck gang rapes, including homosexual gang rapes with as many as 10 individual males. Ducks seem to copulate for more than procreation as I just witnessed this morning, on January 20th, -3 celsius, ducks copulating in the freezing water. For what purpose? Surely any hatchlings would perish in the freezing temps or starve from limited food source.

  15. A billion birds die in the US..
    In what? A day? A year? Ever?
    Don't drop statistics without relative information.

    Plus he never got to the point of why some animals engage in necrophilia.

    Still interesting, and the ig noble prize is a great thing for science.

  16. "One billion birds die in collsion with glass buildings in the US. This is one of the major causes of death for birds." Actually, 10 billion birds a raised and killed for food in the US each year…

  17. I kept wondering…Kees explained the how and the what – but no why. Got me thinking: Two male mallard ducks flying along, one bigger and with all the charisma and machismo – has been terrorizing and bullying the other duck all its life. f*****g him over so to speak.

    As they are flying along – the big one is bragging to the other one about how his life will never amount to anything, and how he’s a useless in the air as he is on the ground.

    The big one puts on a burst of speed and goads the other one to go faster. If ducks had a black box on the flight deck here is what it said: ‘while I’m around Bruce – your life is going to be miserable and I can promise you, I’ll be around for………….'end of recording.

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