Photo: Kidnapping Penguins May Be High on Hormone, Study Says



After a foraging trip of up to two months, female penguins sometimes return to their breeding grounds to find that their chicks have been lost. The seemingly distraught birds have been known to then kidnap chicks, only to abandon the baby a short time later—behavior that has long puzzled scientists.

Now a team of French researchers think they have solved the mystery—they say the returning females are pumped full of a parental hormone that triggers them to snatch another's offspring.

Photograph courtesy Michael Rougier/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images


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