bait in the wolf trap (petitfour) wrote in wtf_nature,
bait in the wolf trap
petitfour
wtf_nature

I really don't know whether this is SFW or not.

Today's entry will discuss something I learned in one of our local oddity shops when I was younger, all about the Baculum. These are baculums:





Okay, so a baculum is one of the bones, but which one and why should I care?



A baculum, also known as a penis bone, is an actual bone found in the penis of most mammals. Boys, you can stop looking for yours because no, you cannot has. Mammals having a penile bone (in males) and a clitoral bone (in females) include various eutherian Orders (not Marsupials or Monotremes):

* Order Primates (excluding humans)
* Order Rodentia (rodents), though not in the related order Lagomorpha (rabbits, hares etc)
* Order Insectivora (insectivores, including moles, shrews, and hedgehogs)
* Order Carnivora (including members of many well-known Families, such as Ursids (bears), Felids (cats), Canids (dogs), Pinnipeds (Walruses, Seals, Sea Lions), Procyonids (Raccoons etc), and others
* Order Chiroptera (bats)

Such a wide distribution among placental mammals suggests that the bone evolved early in the history of these mammals, and was subsequently lost in certain groups.

Why don't humans have one?

Well it's because relative to our body size, the penises in great apes are not large enough to constitute such a biologically expensive structure being worthwhile. "The zoologist Richard Dawkins speculated in 2006, that the loss of the bone in humans, when it is present in our nearest related species the chimpanzee, is probably a result of sexual selection by females looking for signs of good health in prospective mates." You can look it up, but quite simply it means that chimps don't get ED because of the bone, and ED would otherwise indicate poor health.

Obviously these chimps never heard of Viagra. Okay that was a bad joke, you can all throw tomatoes now.



So yeah, my dad's old boss had one of these on his coffee table:



Looking back on it, if you knew what it was, it would um, be quite the conversation piece to have in your own home, no?
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