A Blog Around The Clock

More on duck phalluses and uteri

Of course, I was not the only one commenting on the recent duck phallus paper. You should check out the other blogospheric responses, e.g., by Carl, PZ, RPM, Grrrl, Laelaps, Neil, Belle, Zuzu, Guru and many others.

Unfortunately, most people link only to each other, or to the press release, or to the NYTimes article. The articles are fine, but they are simplified for the mass audience. If you are a scientist, you should read the original paper to get all the details.

Furthermore, many commenters on blogs have asked some very good questions about the research which remained unanswered, e.g., about the teleological language used in the article, the male bias, the individual variation within species, the season-to-season changes in males, and the appropriateness of the use of terms like “rape” in the context of animal behavior.

There is a place for asking (and answering, if you have the expertise) those questions – at the discussion forum of the paper itself where two good questions have already been asked. Just click here.

Comments

  1. #1 neil
    May 3, 2007

    Hi Bora! Thanks for the link. Do I get extra credit for linking to the original paper?

    There once was a beetle from Davis
    Whose aedeagus was so long he was famous…

  2. #2 MartinC
    May 3, 2007

    I noticed that the original article used the term ‘forced extra pair copulation’ (FEPC) rather than ‘rape’ – an emotive word the use of which caused quite a storm over on Pharyngula.