Not true love: Viral kangaroo photos misinterpreted, expert says

The Australian Museum is setting the record straight on a set of viral photos, widely described as showing two kangaroos "grieving" over a dying female kangaroo.

See Full Article

The more likely scenario, the museum said, is that one of the male kangaroos was trying to mate with the female.

In a museum blog post published Thursday, Dr. Mark Elridge said the wildly popular photos, taken in Queensland, Australia, have been misunderstood.

"There is a story behind the images, but not the anthropomorphised version of true love that has accompanied the images in publications," the blog said.

The initial story that was widely circulated with the photos claimed to show an adult male kangaroo, holding up the head of a dying female kangaroo, as a young joey looked on.

Turns out, the adult male is actually in a state of sexual arousal, the museum said.

"The male is clearly highly stressed and agitated, his forearms are very wet from him licking himself to cool down," Elridge said in the blog post.

"He is also sexually aroused," he added, noting that the kangaroo's penis is "sticking out from behind the scrotum" in the photo.

Furthermore, the male kangaroo is not "propping up" the head of the dying female so she could see her joey before she dies, Elridge said. Instead, the male is trying to get the female to stand up so he can mate with her.

Elridge added that Eastern Grey kangaroos can breed throughout the year, but mating primarily occurs in spring and early summer.

"Great photos of the kangaroos, but I think they are fundamentally misinterpreted," he said.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • U.S. honeybee losses improve from horrible to bad

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- There's a glimmer of hope for America's ailing honeybees as winter losses were the lowest in more than a decade, according to a U.S. survey of beekeepers released Thursday. Beekeepers lost 21 per cent of their colonies over last winter, the annual Bee Informed Partnership survey found. Source
  • From phishing to false documents, researchers detail a cyberespionage campaign that points to Russia

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A lengthy report by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab details a global espionage campaign involving email phishing attacks and leaked falsified documents. Although there is no "smoking gun" so to speak, there is overlap with previously reported Russian activities, the report released Thursday suggests. Source
  • Foster owl takes fluffy, orphaned owlet under its wing

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A fluffy, five-week-old orphaned baby owlet is getting a second chance at survival thanks to the help of a rescue centre in B.C. and the guidance of an experienced foster owl. The adorable little male hatchling has been recovering at the Raptors Rescue Society in Duncan, B.C. Source
  • New Zealand test rocket makes it to space but not to orbit

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand - California-based company Rocket Lab said Thursday it had launched a test rocket into space from its New Zealand launch pad, although the rocket didn't reach orbit as hoped. The company said its Electron rocket lifted off at 4:20 p.m. Source
  • Chinese champion begins rematch against computer in ancient game of Go

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WUZHEN, China - China's top player of the ancient board game of go began a second game against a computer Thursday in a competition authorities limited the Chinese public's ability to see. Google's AlphaGo program defeated 19-year-old prodigy Ke Jie on Tuesday in the first of three games they are due to play this week at a forum on artificial intelligence in this town west of Shanghai. Source
  • Computer wins rematch against Chinese champion in ancient game of Go

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WUZHEN, China -- A computer beat China's top player of go, one of the last games machines have yet to master, for a second time Thursday in a competition authorities limited the Chinese public's ability to see. Source
  • Surge in value for Bitcoin cryptocurrency

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The value of the Bitcoin, the internet's most widely used virtual currency, has more than doubled since the beginning of 2017, recently passing the symbolic $2,000 mark and setting a new record. While the currency is becoming more widely used and accepted, it is still often associated with the darker side of the internet. Source
  • Snowy plover chick hatches on Oregon beach for first time since 1960s

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Western snowy plover chick that hatched on an Oregon beach this spring is the first of its species to emerge successfully in that area in more than 50 years and provides hope that a management plan for the federally threatened species is working, wildlife officials said Wednesday. Source
  • Endangered salamanders put quarry on hold as residents fight against project

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A group of Ontario residents trying to ward off the development of a new quarry in their community say they have found two endangered salamanders that they hope will convince authorities to put an end to the project. Source
  • Temperatures to 'teeter-totter' across Canada this summer

    Tech & Science CBC News
    The lack of a clear El Niño or La Niña out in the Pacific Ocean means weather patterns across much of Canada are likely to remain changeable and active for much of the summer, top meteorologists are forecasting. Source