Sexual harassment of a king penguin by an Antarctic fur seal
- 805 Downloads
Males of gregarious pinnipeds are often aggressive to conspecifics and sexual coercion of females is commonplace. Males of some pinniped species have been known to attempt interspecific copulation, occasionally being successful in producing hybrid offspring. The most extreme case of interspecific sexual coercion reported concerned species from different families. We report a case of interspecific sexual harassment bridging the rank of vertebrate class.
KeywordsAnimal behaviour Aptenodytes patagonicus Arctocephalus gazella Marion Island Sexual coercion
We thank Dr. P.W. Bateman for his valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism supplied logistic support within the South African National Antarctic Programme. The Department of Science and Technology, through the National Research Foundation (South Africa), provided financial support. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments.
- Best PB, Meyer MA, Weeks RW (1981) Interactions between a male elephant seal Mirounga leonina and Cape fur seals Arctocephalus pusillus. S Afr J Zool 16:59–66Google Scholar
- Bester MN (1990) Reproduction in the male Subantarctic fur seal Arctocephalus tropicalis. J Zool 222:177–185Google Scholar
- Bonner WN (1968) The fur seal of South Georgia. British Antarctic Survey Scientific Reports No. 56, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Hänel C, Chown S (1998) An introductory guide to the Marion and Prince Edward Island special nature reserves 50 years after annexation. Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South AfricaGoogle Scholar
- Hofmeyr GJG, Bester MN (1993) Predation on king penguins by Antarctic fur seals. S Afr J Antarct Res 23:71–74Google Scholar
- Kerley GIH (1983) Comparison of seasonal haul-out patterns of fur seals Arctocephalus tropicalis and A. gazella on subantarctic Marion Island. S Afr J Wildl Res 13:71–77Google Scholar
- King JE (1983) Seals of the world. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Laws RM (1993) Identification of species. In: Laws RM (ed) Antarctic seals: research methods and techniques. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–6Google Scholar
- Miller EH (1975) Social and evolutionary implications of territoriality in adult male New Zealand fur seals, Arctocephalus forsteri (Lesson, 1828), during the breeding season. Rapp P-v Réun Cons Int Explor Mer 169:170–187Google Scholar