Wednesday, 28 May 2008

True colours revealed

Not that it comes as much surprise to a biologist, but I've just seen what amounted to a duck-on-duck rape in the quad. And involving one of the mothers who already has chicks! I say "rape" because it certainly wasn't consensual - I actually only noticed because of the racket from outside. The male duck was pinning the female down and repeatedly biting her. Meanwhile the female was trying her hardest to dislodge the male. When she finally did, she turned the tables and chased him out of the quad. I don't know if further chicks are possible when a mother is nursing existing ones, so the male might just have been making a point. Anyway, nature red in tooth in claw indeed!

No comments: