A couple of weeks ago, I posted a link to a research paper on crocodile genitalia, which included a really helpful diagram showing how the male crocs' penis works as part of an all-purpose mating/elimination hole called a cloaca. Now, with the help of reader Eirik Lande, you can see what those genitals look like in, er, action. The above photo is part of a series of shots Lande took of a 661-pound Nile crocodile named Samson (and an unnamed/weighed female partner) as they did what comes naturally in a tank at Bergen, Norway's, Akvariet zoo.
For clarification, that's the female on top in this shot, but they started out in a different position. In Lande's photos you can see the two crocodiles flip, with the help of a "death roll" style move near the end of their mating. That photo is a bit more explicit, but gives you a fairly clear view of what it looks like when Samson shoves his genitals out of his cloaca.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.