Reptiles have unusual reproductive equipment. For example, female snakes and lizards have two clitorises. Meanwhile, the male tuatara has no penis. "The male simply mounts the female and places the opening of his cloaca—-the cavity where the intestinal, genital, and urinary tracts meet in reptiles—-over hers," writes Tina Deines in a National Geographic article. From Nat Geo:
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The hemipenes(double penis) of lizards and snakes sport tiny spikes and hooks.
Scientists have a few ideas about why hemipenes exhibit this sort of ornamentation. According to one hypothesis, male and female genital form has adapted so that mating can occur only between a male and female of the same species. The genitals of males and females of the same species fit together, and the spikes and hooks could help the male keep his hemipenis in place during mating.
One study found that those spikes and hooks may also increase the duration of copulation, thereby increasing mating success.
“I would stress that the female genitalia need to be studied in order to fully understand the function of elaboration of the male genitalia,” says (University of Queensland zoologist Christopher) Friesen.
Amazon Prime Day kicks off at the hour, heralding what its hype claims is a better set of deals than the traditional November stampedes. I eagerly hit the previews in expectation of interesting tech bargains and whatnot, but the only things I could find worth buying are are these enormous bagfuls of colorful candy cocks.
That said, I can hardly say I'm disappointed. Read the rest
Thomas Manning, 64, is recovering after receiving the first penis transplant in the United States. Manning had his penis amputated in 2012 due to penile cancer. It took 15 hours for surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital to complete the transplant, medically known as a "gentitourinary vascularized composite allograft." The surgery involved "grafting the complex microscopic vascular and neural structures of a donor organ onto the comparable structures of the recipient." According to the surgeons, the procedure could someday be used for gender reconstruction. From CNN:
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Dr. Dicken Ko, director of the hospital's Regional Urology Program, said the objectives of the surgery were primarily to reconstruct the genitalia so that it appeared natural, followed by urinary function and hopefully sexual function. However, Ko added that while sexual function is a goal, reproduction is not, because of a concern surrounding the ethical issues of who the potential father may be.
There's an obvious answer to the smallness of statues' penises: the manners and religious prudishness of classical elites. But the issue is more about differing standards of beauty and modern mens' penis anxiety, writes Ellen Oredsson. Which is to say that smaller penises were once regarded as ideal, and many real penises aren't any bigger than the ones on the statues.
...small penises were more culturally valued is that large penises were associated with very specific characteristics: foolishness, lust and ugliness. There are actually quite a few ancient Greek sculptures that have enormous penises. Here’s one:
Small dicks are, then, associated with reason and logic. The argument gets strained when applied to the western renaissance, where imitation and idealism intersect more sharply with religious sentiment.
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It's been nearly a decade since a single thumbnail image of Michaelangelo's David's willie caused a censorware company founded by a registered sex-offender to block Boing Boing for all its clients as a "nudity" site. This post will probably blow their minds.
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A 31-year-old Aalborg resident was charged with vandalism after drawing "up to 30 penises" on the walls and fixtures of the Aalborg Ikea.
Once caught, the man denied that he was responsible for all the drawings, and that his curious crime was inspired by having seen someone else do it first.
“The man has admitted to being behind these drawings, but not as many as 30. He has no prior convictions and he has explained that he did it because he had seen similar drawings in IKEA. He has regretted his actions, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has still committed vandalism,” Poulsen said.
Yes. This could be a thing. [via Abroath] Read the rest
The South African man who successfully received a donor penis last year after losing his own from a botched circumcision three years is expecting a baby with his 21-year-old girlfriend.
From an earlier article about the patient:
Primitive conditions in the South African bush frequently lead to infection and other complications during routine, common procedures like a circumcision. The unnamed patient lost his own penis after it became gangrenous, Van der Merwe said. Some 250 men a year have their penises amputated in South Africa each year.
"This is a very serious situation. For a young man of 18 or 19 years, the loss of his penis can be deeply traumatic. He doesn't necessarily have the psychological capability to process this,” Van der Merwe said. “There are even reports of suicide among these young men.”
Image: "It works!" Shutterstock Read the rest
John Erik Wagner, 52, appears in a campaign advertisement in his native Copenhagen. The Metro reports that "Penis-flashing Wagner" is well-known for his stunts.
An investigation has been carried out to ensure the X-rated images were permissible, but city administrators apparently weren’t convinced they would ‘disrupt road users’ attention’. … Suggested amendments in his manifesto are thought to include closing down Denmark’s job centres, making health and dental care free, changing existing election legislation and passing laws to ensure all employees who work six months are entitled to a six month holiday.
Thelocal.dk reports that his latest attention-grabber isn't likely to get him the job.
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The 52-year-old from the Copenhagen district of Amager has been running in parliamentary, local and regional elections since 2005. Most of that was with little attention but that changed in 2013 when he burst onto the stage in his customary cowboy get-up during a live televised municipal election debate to protest the exclusion of smaller parties.
“Why should we [smaller parties] sit here like extras in our own campaign? Huh? Can you tell me that? This is no fair election,” he yelled during DR’s broadcast before being escorted off the stage.
You can follow John on Twitter. Below, the uncensored image, as posted to his account.
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. Read the rest
Can you properly distinguish between a male and female crocodile? This research paper, published in 2007, will help — pointing out the sometimes subtle differences between external genitalia. It's chock full of pictures of erect crocodile penises, so you'll learn what those look like, but what particularly interested me was the diagram above.
Cloacas are sort of multi-purpose orifices found in certain species of birds and reptiles. Instead of having separate biological tools for poop, pee, and sex, these animals manage all three functions with the same hole. Males also have cloacas and will either have a penis or pseudo-penis that comes out of it for mating. I've known this for a long time, but had a lot of trouble picturing how all of that anatomy fits together. This diagram (Figure 4 in the paper) is the first image that made the internal structure of cloacas really make sense to me. The more you know! Read the rest
In this not-exactly-safe-for-work video, two tapirs (a jungle-dwelling mammal, related to the rhinoceros) go at it with verve, while a nice family watches and makes what I assume to be amusing commentary.
As Matthew Cobb at Why Evolution is True discovered, this is only one entry in a whole genre of tapir sex videos and tapir penis photos.
Previously: The truly horrific penis of the echidna
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Penis thefts are on the rise again in West and Central Africa. UC Berkeley cultural anthropologist/geographer Louisa Lombard investigated while visiting the tiny village of Tiringoulou. According to the town doctor, "Western medicine is no match for this magic. It is a mysterious thing.” From Pacific Standard Magazine:
As for the men whose penises were stolen, several eyewitnesses assured me that the appendages did indeed shrink dramatically. I can’t offer such an intimate eyewitness account myself, but I did visit one of the men at his home, and he clearly seemed to be suffering. He lay propped on one elbow, slack and listless in loose sweatpants, on a woven mat in the shade outside his house. A handful of friends kept him company. Over cups of sweet tea, I asked them about how they understood the recent events.
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Penis snatching, they said, was a means of supplying an illicit and lucrative trade in organs. Cameroonians and Nigerians—people from places “where they have multistory buildings”—were seen as particularly well versed in the business. “You see how advanced Cameroon is?” someone said. “It’s because they are so strong in commerce of all kinds, including in genitals and scalps.” The stolen organs, my companions said, are sold to occult healers for use in ceremonies, or else they are quickly fenced back to victims of penis snatching for a price. But the real money was to be made in Europe. One man who had spent some time living in Cameroon said he had heard of a woman there who was nabbed by airport security while trying to smuggle several penises to the Continent inside a baguette.
And now, let us pay tribute to the 1992 winner of the Ig Nobel Award in the category of Art
: Jim Knowlton's informative poster "Penises of the Animal Kingdom". (Bonus: The U.S. National Endowment for the Arts shared the award with Mr. Knowlton, for suggesting that he continue his work in pop-up book form.) (Via Josh Rosenau) Read the rest
Echidnas are one of those weird Australian animals that seems to have been pieced together from leftover bits of other animals. Mammals that lay eggs, echidnas are covered in pointy hedgehog-like spines, but with a long snout and sticky tongue of an anteater.
Also, the males have a four-headed penis.
Not kidding. One shaft, four heads. Which is odd, because the female echidna reproductive tract only has two branches. Some of the stuff I've read this morning says that the male echidna mates using only two of his four heads at a time. Then, he'll find another lady echidna and let the other two heads have a turn. Another option, presented by National Geographic: He mates twice with each lady echidna, using first two heads, and then the other two.
National Geographic has helpfully provided visual evidence of this four-headed penis.
I'm putting the photo under a cut. Partly for comic effect, and partly because what is seen can never be unseen. Read the rest