The “corpse bride” strikes again: first report of the Davian behaviour in the Eurasian badger

  • 1 Wildlife Photographer, Busto Arsizio (VA), Italy
  • 2 Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi di Siena, Via P.A. Mattioli 4, 53100 Siena, Italy
Marco Colombo and Emiliano MoriORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8108-7950

Abstract

We reported the first record of Davian behaviour (necrophilia) in the Eurasian badger Meles meles (L., 1758) in northern Italy. A male badger was observed in a camera-trap survey courting and trying to copulate with a probably road-killed female, in February. The dead female was a sexually mature, adult individual; the male was probably a young mature individual. Social behaviour of this carnivore may have evolved to guarantee the access to females only to the dominant male. Usually, female badgers passively receive mating by excited males. This behaviour may have enticed the young male to start courtship and copulation with the road-killed female.

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Mammalia is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the inventory, analysis and interpretation of Mammalian diversity. It publishes original results on all aspects of systematics (comparative, functional and evolutionary morphology; morphometrics; phylogeny; biogeography; taxonomy and nomenclature), biology, ecology and conservation of mammals.

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