back to article Gay Dutch vultures become dads

A pair of gay Dutch vultures in a long-term relationship have become parents. Job van Tol, a keeper at the Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam, told the BBC that the griffon vultures are "a very tight couple" and are doing a good job raising their hatchling. He said: "We have had them for some years. They always build a nest …

  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Great story

    One to use when people say homosexuality is "unnatural". I have no illusions that that will change their minds, it is just fun to see their reaction when you politely undermine their "arguments" (term used without prejudice). I have frequently observed a most guppy-like opening and closing of the mouth without any sound emanating.

    1. Solarflare
      Joke

      Re: Great story

      It's Guido and Detlef, not Guido and Steve!

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Great story

      This whole 'wearing clothes' and 'cooking food' business is more unnatural than being gay, but you don't see people getting worked up about it.

      Mind you, now I say that, some people spend huge amounts of time, effort and money to get other people to take off their clothes, so perhaps that wasn't a great example.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Michael - Re: Great story

      Still, Mother Nature insists on perpetuating species using the old fashioned way. Sorry to upset you but nobody can undermine this argument in those who hold it true.

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: @Michael - Great story

        You can perpetuate a species with only a small proportion of its members carrying out the reproductive task. This enables the rest to more effectively carry out the many other jobs that are important for the survival of the species. Bees do OK despite less than 0.1% of a colony being involved in reproduction.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: @Michael - Great story

        "Mother Nature insists on perpetuating species using the old fashioned way."

        This suggests 2 things:

        a) there's probably no "gay gene"

        b) it's probably developmental, though a recessive genetic trait (or combination of them) could also be responsible for "gayness"

        there was an experiment done with male homosexual sheep some time ago. The scientists discovered that the area of their brains that was responsible for processing testosterone and aromatase [as I recall] was smaller, like that of a female sheep, in the male homosexual sheep. This could have been caused by a number of factors, from a breakdown of the blood barrier in the placenta [exposure to female hormones], to any number of other environmental or even genetic factors.

        The point is, these male homosexual sheep literally had "female brains".

        something to consider. Of course I don't know if anyone has been cutting up human brains but MRI and PET scans and other means might be interesting studies.

        then again when politics and political correctness get involved, nobody can talk about the science and statistics any more. I prefer to "mind my own business" instead, and let people do what they want as long as it's not in my face and/or offensive.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Michael - Great story

        > Still, Mother Nature insists on perpetuating species using the old fashioned way.

        And what would the old fashioned way be? For a social species (that is, most of them), perpetuation entails a whole lot more than reproduction.

        In the case at hand, even though the egg had been fecundated, it would have not resulted in the birth and hopefully upbringing of a new individual were it not for the work of other members of the species apart from those which laid and fertilised the egg.

        > Sorry to upset you

        You do not upset me. Why would you?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great story

      Are they just living together or do they engage in sexual activity? There's a difference between roommates and gay couple.

      1. Jamesit

        Re: Great story

        From the article:

        "He said: "We have had them for some years. They always build a nest together, bond and mate together... But, as two males, the one thing they could not do was lay an egg."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great story

        Don't expect empirical observations!!! It is self-evident truth.

      3. gandalfcn

        Re: Great story

        "Are they just living together or do they engage in sexual activity? There's a difference between roommates and gay couple."

        You quite obviously didn't read the article, did you?

    5. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Great story

      That's sure a big pecker in the photo....

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Great story

      One to use when people say homosexuality is "unnatural".

      not 'unnatural' just an aberration. And before you start emotion-bombing with ridiculous/irresponsible "*phobia" labels, look up what the definition of 'aberration' is with respect to statics. It is an anomaly that lies outside of the normal bell curve that has a predictable statistical occurrence, i.e. like the "1.8%" of human populations that are reported to be homosexual vs heterosexual.

      seriously, some people just can't avoid the political agenda side of this stuff. I prefer to "mind my own business" when it comes to someone's sexuality. I think everyone ELSE should, too.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great story

      Let's assume that this based in actual observations rather than seen through the lens of theory...

      Male lions will kill the male offspring of a new female he takes on, and will mate with the female cubs. Does this mean that we should accept that when a woman gets a new boyfriend then it is acceptable for him to kill her sons, and sexually exploit her daughters?

    8. Philip Stott

      Re: Great story

      I usually reply that incest and gang rape are common in some species - just because something is natural doesn't make it desirable.

      I have no problem with gay people BTW - just people using crap arguments.

    9. pattywhackd

      Re: Great story

      Incest, murder, rape, and cannibalism are also natural activities found in animal and insect populations. Surely you can't be suggesting that modern humans should aspire to such a complete lack of differentiation.

  2. Ochib

    Didn't Kees Moeliker, of Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, win an IG Nobel award for documenting the first scientifically recorded case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      I'm pretty sure there is no form of sexual deviancy that ducks do not engage in.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Define "deviancy" and go from there. One person's kick is another person's normal.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
          Coat

          Anything that involves four springs and a duck is pretty deviant technique wise.

          Coat, yes, I know...

  3. Tachikoma
    Trollface

    Thou shalst not make a nest with a male vulture ast thouesthhh makes a nest with a female!

    Cordonblueinthians: ff0000:ffabaf

  4. Korev Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "Nathan Bailey and Marlene Zuk"

    Was I the only one to read that as "Nathan Barley" and to then be slightly disappointed? Shame, as it would have been well Jackson...

  5. Little Mouse

    I'm waiting for the wholesome documentary with a voice-over by Morgan Freeman.

    1. Rustbucket

      It'd make a great series by David Attenborough.

  6. ratfox Silver badge

    - Homosexuality is unnatural!

    - Animals commonly practice homosexuality!

    - We're not animals!

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Huh?

      And you call yourself 'ratfox'...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is now my answer for homophobia

      scientifically, humans are animals. we are in the class mammalia, along with organisms like dogs, cats, and bonobos. here is an article that actual proves that the latter:

      http://www.livescience.com/44464-bonobo-homosexuality-natural.html

      Not natural? think again. bonobos are about as close to the human species as chimps, but they are not the only animals that do this. check this article out as well:

      http://www.livescience.com/16138-gay-animals-bonobos-dolphins.html

      still doesn't seem natural? maybe it's you that's unnatural then.

  7. EddieD
    Pint

    Definitely a beer needed

    For the subheading.

    Even as a confirmed (and often loathed) punster myself, I could not repress a groan when I saw that brilliant one liner.

    Slainté mhath!

  8. Your alien overlord - fear me

    But how do we know that the other vultures don't shun them? Just because they do it, doesn't mean the other vultures are not bigoted, just as humans are.

    1. Not also known as SC

      "But how do we know that the other vultures don't shun them? Just because they do it, doesn't mean the other vultures are not bigoted, just as humans are."

      If El Reg - the 'original vulture' accept them then I'm sure most other forward thinking vultures will as well.

    2. HausWolf

      Only vultures with the right wing larger than the left do.

  9. RonWheeler

    IT angle?

    At least if it were slashdot they'd have in-jokes about how the vultures not being virgins.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: IT angle?

      IT angle? It's about, erm, vultures. Look at the El Reg logo. That's close enough evidence for me on a Friday night.

  10. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Cracking story

    Talking of hatching eggs...

    Cracking story: French artist to entomb himself in rock for a week, then use body to hatch eggs

    Any Vulture staff willing to do the same with a Vulture egg?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...it's a happier ending than the story of the gay Teutonic vultures..."

    "...staff found an abandoned egg that none of the other vultures would adopt, they placed it in the male couple's nest."

    Maybe they should raise white tigers? :)

  12. Steve Knox

    "Gay Teutonic Vultures"

    aaand someone's got a new band name...

    1. Afernie

      Re: "Gay Teutonic Vultures"

      "Gay Teutonic Vultures of Glam Metal"

      Works for me.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So how does this fit with evolution theories?

    "Survival of the fittest" is the mantra of evolution, but wouldn't that mean "gay" creatures would die out as they can't reproduce...

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: So how does this fit with evolution theories?

      There are theories about "gay genes" actually benefitting the female and then the benefit overweighs the "cost" of the odd gay couple who won't breed successfully. A sort of pattern would be Sickle Cell Anaemia where the "gene" confers resistance to Malaria when someone has one copy; but with a copy from both parents the effects are well known.

      Wikipedia has a much better explanation than mine

    2. JulieM Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: So how does this fit with evolution theories?

      In gregarious species, not every adult need be directly involved in reproduction. As long as there is at least one heterosexual pair, a colony can be self-sustaining. Non-breeding adults can still perform other useful rôles -- possibly even better, once freed from the distractions of sexual logistics.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So how does this fit with evolution theories?

        This is a romantic notion but scientifically unsound. If you run a simple multi generational simulation on your insensitive and bigoted computer it will show you that this theory of gayness adding some sort of survival benefit to society at large is demonstrably false. Any way you slice the numbers, with the survival rates and fecundity statistics of today, gayness will result in a net DECREASE in the number of offspring compared to no gayness.

    3. Lee T

      Re: So how does this fit with evolution theories?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation#Gay_uncle_hypothesis

      Basically, having a few extra pairs of hands in the family who don't have kids but are able to assist those family members who *do* have kids increases the chances of those kids, and therefore perpetuates the existence of the genes which lead to a small percentage of people not being interested in having kids of their own.

    4. pattywhackd

      Re: So how does this fit with evolution theories?

      Any species that has the ability to cleanse its own gene pool from harmful genetic mutations or to limit propagation to the most advantageous genes has an evolutionary advantage. Gayness may be a way that Mother Nature weeds out the biological undesirables. If we insist on using animal species to draw parallels with humans (a most intellectually bankrupt activity) then this becomes a fair hypothesis.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    obviously whats wrong with Owen Jones....

    is he has become broody.

    And needs an egg to sit on.

  15. conscience
    Coat

    It's about birds?

    Was it just me who expected this to be about two Dutch El Reg journalists?

    1. Number6

      Re: It's about birds?

      Nope. I was thinking the same thing, a report of a happy event from the El Reg Amsterdam office.

  16. FozzyBear Silver badge
    Happy

    Interesting. I did not know that about birds, considering I breed budgies and love birds as a hobby. So today hasn't been a total waste.

    It would be awesome to throw that bit of information to those homophobic conservatives it would "contaminate" their little talk with their kids about the "birds and the bees"

  17. Jedit
    WTF?

    "the gay Teutonic vultures, Guido and Detlef"

    Hopefully some German-speaking Reg reader will correct me if I'm wrong, but I was given to understand that "detlef" was the German equivalent word to "faggot". Not very PC, that.

  18. Axman

    Dutch Vultures

    I bet they smoke pot too, and ride bikes, and are able to crack jokes in English...

    1. Axman

      Re: Dutch Vultures

      ...but, if that photo is of a Griffon Vulture I'll eat my hat: that's a White Headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitali), and therefore not one of the gay Dutch vultures in question.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dutch Vultures

        > that's a White Headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitali),

        Spot the Anorak :-)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    https://www.artis.nl/nl/ontdek/nieuws/2017/05/31/homostel-vale-gieren-brengt-voor-het-eerst-jong-groot-artis/

    Some pictures.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019