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There is still a great deal of controversy over these theories and more research is needed to establish one way or another which theory or theories best explains the co-evolution of mallard sexual organs. One way or another, sexual conflict is at the heart of why drakes have complex intromittent organs, and why females have developed elaborate defensive vaginas. Females invest far more in the offspring than the males do, and this trait preserves their ability to select for better mates. Better mates increase her own chances of survival directly, but more importantly, they give her offspring higher fitness. This ensures that her own genes will be more likely to spread throughout the population, even if she still had to do most of the work on her own.

Sexual deviance in mallards

Did you know that mallards are one of the few species that have been observed practicing homosexuality and one of even fewer that have been noted to practice homosexual necrophilia?

In 2001, a researcher sitting at his desk at the Natuurmuseum of Rotterdam heard a loud bang and looked outside his window to find two mallard drakes; one was in full breeding plumage while the other in post-breeding moult. It was found that the breeding male was chasing the other drake in an attempted rape flight before the latter smashed into the building’s wall instantly dying, but still not losing his undesired partner’s interest (Moeliker).

What followed for the next 75 minutes was an unprecedented torrent of passion captured on camera by the researcher who eventually ended the scene by removing the mallard corpse. C.W. Moeliker would go on to publish his findings and earn one of the ten 2003 Ig Noble Prizes (Moeliker 2001).

Free love in Anatidae

Homosexual behavior in animals has been documented but not well studied. Ducks in particular have often been observed practicing male homosexuality. Mallards in particular have been noted to have up to 19% of pairs be homosexual (Bagemihl 1999).

It’s up to brilliant future researches like yourself to uncover the mysteries behind this act which seems to have no apparent fitness benefit, and in fact doomed one species to extinction. The blue duck species pictured below is now going extincti as the last three individuals, a female and two males, have chosen sterile relationship paths. The males have bonded while the female remains solitary. Future studies of this duck species will be impossible, so comparative methods with other duck species will have to be used to understand this bizarrre phenomenon.

A blue duck

Discussion questions:

  1. Which gender do you think first began to evolve the complexity leading to sexual conflict?
  2. What is the social monogamy in mallards like?
  3. Why don’t males in other species practice forced copulation?
  4. Why would matching male and female genital complexity exist in certain species and how does this apply to mallards?
  5. Why might the hen’s unconditional resistance be selected for and how might this affect selection on the drake’s phalluses?
  6. Ethics bonus question: Can mallard drakes be held morally responsible for forced copulation?

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11211/1.5
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