Run for Cover - a Four-Headed Penis!

If it was Friday and if I still had the time, energy and inspiration for Friday Weird Sex Blogging, I would definitely write something snarky about this latest study - of a four-headed penis of the Echidna. But the topic fits nicely into the Halloween theme if things like these scare you ;-)

In short, the spiny anteater, a Monotreme (an egg-laying mammal living in the Australian bush), has four heads on its penis. Two of those are functional and these two are used alternately, i.e., one ejaculation through the left one, the next through the right one and so on. Dr.Joan produces the Quote Of The Day (perhaps too racy for the Front Page of scienceblogs.com):

"...there's nothing more uplifting that a four-headed phallus on a Monday afternoon..."

Mo gives more details of the science, including the NSFW video clip...

This is why science blogging is so much fun....

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A new paper about the reproductive behaviour of the spiny anteater, to be published in the December issue of American Naturalist, makes for fascinating - if slightly disturbing - reading. The spiny anteater (Tachyglossuss aculeatus) is a primitive mammal with an unusual four-headed penis. The…
If the idea of a cold, motionless sexual partner isn't one of your turn-ons, then you're clearly not an echidna. The males of these spiny Australian animals will happily mate with females even if they're hibernating. Gemma Morrow and Stewart Nicol from the University of Tasmania have spent the…
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I've been telling people about the 4-headed penis. My wife, a dual British/Australian citizen, countered with a tale from the Dean of Sciences at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (where my wife did her PhD and postdoc) who is a biologist/zoologist/paleontologist who my wife had fly to southern california and give a talk. He wants Australians to have native fauna as pets, and recommends the small cute smart furry marsupial Sugar Glider. He once found his sugar glider ssleep in his socks drawer, asleep on its back presumably having an erotic dream, as it sported a huge double-penis eredtion, which had not precviously been reported in the literature. He published.

I just attended a fine Plenary talk by Hava Seligman, on Circadean rhythms and jet lag, with computational models. She's faculty at CS, U.Massachusetts-Amherst, my old grad department, though she's originally from Israel. I'm at the 7th International Conference on Complex Systems, Boston, where I'm chairing 2 Physics sessions, and (with my main coauthor) presenting 12 papers.