9. Mating Rituals
How have female ducks evolved to deal with the horrifying genitalia of their male counterparts? The females have counterclockwise vaginas to confuse and deflect the clockwise penises. They also have misleading tunnels that act as a barrier against full penetration.
Why? Dear God, why? Because ducks rape each other all the time.
This forced copulation had caused the female duck to evolve in a way that scientists label “a sexual arms race.” The more terrifying the male genitalia, the more convoluted and tricky the female genitalia. It just goes to show that female ducks are not complacent in this violent and forced copulation.
Ducks also routinely engage in gang rape. Yep, gang rape. It’s not uncommon for three to six male ducks to chase and violently rape one female. On the other side of the spectrum, if a female duck is into the male duck “courting” her, she can relax certain muscles to make sure that the sperm of the favored male will fertilize her eggs.
Only about 3 percent of forced copulations end in ducklings, which makes us feel a little bit better. Still not great, though.
If you’ve ever lived by a lake or had a lot of contact with ducks, chances are that you’ve seen duck-on-duck violence. Even duck murder. The mating season for ducks is a brutal time, especially for females, as we previously discussed.
But from time to time, ducks will actually drown one another while mating. Most females lose at least a few feathers on the backs of their heads and necks due to the males biting during the forced act, but some females will even lose eyes.
At times, humans also commit atrocities against ducks. A popular local Texas duck named George was brutally murdered in 2013, prompting The Humane Society and San Antonio Crime Stoppers to offer a large reward for the culprits.
George the duck was a very friendly fowl that used to pull on everyone’s pant legs. Often fed by local restaurants, he was a staple tourist attraction on the River Walk. Even with a reward of over $10,000, no suspects were ever captured.