Science: The Proper Penguins

The Dr. Kinsey of the penguin world is a New Zealand ornithologist named Lancelot Eric Richdale. For ten breeding seasons he watched colonies of yellow-eyed penguins (Megadyptes antipodes) on the coast of New Zealand's South Island. He made friends with the birds, attached identifying bands to their legs, and spied with a telescope upon their domestic affairs. In a new book, Sexual Behavior in Penguins (University of Kansas Press; $5), he tells what he learned about their lives and loves, "marriages" and "divorces."

Penguins, he found, are as proper as they look, and they are reasonably faithful mates. Most of their "marriages"...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!