Did you know that some penguins are prostitutes? Yes, prostitutes!
Wildlife experts witnessed the practice among the Adelie penguins of the Antarctic coast.
Adelies build their nests from stones, which are therefore highly prized at breeding time in colonies.
The young males who have not yet found a mate are doubtless sexually frustrated, collect piles of the best stones, with which they buy sexual favours from the breeding females.
Dr Fiona Hunter, a researcher in the Zoology Department at Cambridge University, explained the single male penguins appear to have only their own pleasure as a motive, while all of the female penguins she observed trading sex for stones had partners.
Penguins stick to the same mate, she said, but none of the males twigged what was happening.
“There was no suspicion on the part of the males. Females quite often go off on their own to collect stones, so as far as the males are concerned there is no reason to suspect,” she said.
On some occasions the prostitute penguin tricks the male. She carries out the elaborate courtship ritual, which usually leads to mating, but having bagged her stone, she just runs away.