Eavesdropping on serious scientific conversation
When scientists discuss matters related to genitalia or the process of procreation, they do this, of course, in a serious and dignified manner. Witness this conversation by a group of zoologists, overheard in the tearoom of our university during a break between lectures.
Dr .O’B.: “Questions these students have! We have just been doing a dissection of a possum. Asks one of them lads why the testicles in that beast are in front and not behind the penis.” Dr. A.: “Ah, well, at least the students had something to look at, for if you’ve had a male bird, like a cock for instance, there’d be nothing to see. And, as you know, in the mighty gorilla the balls are no bigger than hazelnuts and in the elephant bull they do not even descend into the scrotum during the mating season.” Prof. N. getting in on the act: “Now I have a question for you, my dear O’B. Why are there so many marsupials that have bifurcated penises?”
O’B.: “Ok, Prof. You really want to know that, don’t you? I’ll tell you.” And in a soft voice he added: “I got some information from an old Pintubi Aboriginal in Central Australia; their menfolk practice ritual sub-incisions and…” (now with an even softer voice) “… it pleases the ladies to be tickled by a double-banger.” The three emitted some serious, but muffled scientific laughs and carefully looked around lest one of the female lecturers would be nearby and overhearing their conversation. “
Then Prof N. continued the academic discussion with the critical remark: “In that case Mrs. Blue Whale ought to be the happiest, for her male has a 3 metre monster penis, which makes him the champion amongst all animals. And to support that mighty apparatus he even carries a bone in it, the famous “os penis” also known as the baculum.”
Dr. A., very critical now: “Hold it, hold it. I think that is debatable what you said, Prof. Because even if it is 3 m long, the penis of the whale is still only one tenth of the animal’s own body length. In the garden slug, however, a fully extended penis is at least four times the size of the slug’s whole body. Surely, that must be the record!”. “Well, you’ve got a point there”, Prof. N. responded, “but can you beat this for the oddest penis? Dr Arikawa in Japan has described in “Nature” that the male Papilio butterfly has a photoreceptor (in other words an ‘eye’, at the tip of its penis. Nobody knows why the heck it’s there for and what it can possibly see with it.”
“Ha, that’s easy”, O’B.’s face brightened up as he beamed “when it gets dark and the penile photoreceptor no longer sees a thing, then the male butterfly knows that he has lit up the female’s life!” And while O’B. laughed about his intelligent joke, the other two shook their heads in silent disbelief: what remarkable display of logic and deep scientific insight on part of their distinguished and learned colleague.
However, their serious scientific intercourse had to be cut short, because a glance at the clock showed them that their students must be waiting for their lecturers to return and teach them some more of that boring animal anatomy.
© Dr V.B. Meyer-Rochow and http://www.bioforthebiobuff.wordpress.com, 2018.
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