Posted in Antartide Personaggi Storia

Polar Record, January 2012

Polar Record, January 2012 Posted on 16 Agosto 2017

Dr. George Murray Levick (1876–1956): unpublished notes on the sexual habits of the Adélie penguin
Douglas G.D. Russell
William J.L. Sladen
David G. Ainley
ABSTRACT. A previously unpublished four-page pamphlet by Dr. George Murray Levick R.N. (1876–1956) on the ‘Sexual habits of the Adélie penguin’ was recently rediscovered at the Natural History Museum (NHM) at Tring. It was printed in 1915 but declined for publication with the official expedition reports. The account, based upon Levick’s detailed field observations at Cape Adare (71°18′ S, 170°09’E) during the course of the British Antarctic (Terra NovaExpedition 1910, commented on frequency of sexual activity, autoerotic behaviour, and seemingly aberrant behaviour of young unpaired males and females including necrophilia, sexual coercion, sexual and physical abuse of chicks, non-procreative sex and homosexual behaviour. His observations were however accurate, valid and, with the benefit of hindsight, deserving of publication. Here we publish the pamphlet in its entirety, reinterpret selected observations and comment on its significance as a forgotten work by the pioneer of research on Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae (Hombron and Jacquinot 1841) biology.

Dr. George Murray Levick (1876-1956): Unpublished notes on the sexual habits of the Adélie penguin (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Aug 21, 2017].