5/01/2007

In Ducks, War of the Sexes Plays Out in the Evolution of Genitalia

“This guy’s the champion,” said Patricia Brennan, a behavioral ecologist, leaning over the nether regions of a duck — a Meller’s duck from Madagascar, to be specific — and carefully coaxing out his phallus.

When she first visited in January, the phalluses were the size of rice grains. Now many of them are growing rapidly. The champion phallus from this Meller’s duck is a long, spiraling tentacle. Some ducks grow phalluses as long as their entire body. In the fall, the genitalia will disappear, only to reappear next spring.

-New York Times

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