King penguins — especially male king penguins — are known to pair up. A new study seeking to understand the behavior that led to over a quarter of a penguin colony in Antarctica to partner up with members of the same sex, has uncovered that the cause is not so much that they can’t tell the sexes apart or that they have a tendency toward homosexuality but that they’re lonely.
Simply: there are not enough females in the colony and with the amount of testosterone male penguins have, it’s better to get on a dude than go at ’em alone.
Scientists noted a difference in how penguins interacted with other males, as opposed to females. According to The Telegraph, “The male pairs engaged in the [mating] displays for short periods of time but did not bond in the same way as a heterosexual pair would, by learning each otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s calls or caring for eggs.” F. Stephen Dobson, one of the authors of the study, noted that over time, all the “gay” penguins chose a heterosexual partner.
This study was published in the journal Ethology.