Outdoor Misc (mistressdeath) wrote in wtf_nature,
Outdoor Misc
mistressdeath
wtf_nature

Chiburishima Tanuki and the Testes of Doom

In my last post some people asked about my icon, which features the tanuki, or raccoon dog. It was posted about once here, in January, but the OP did an epic fail and forgot to mention the animal's monster gonads. Hopefully a second post about the tanuki, expounding on this truly WTF aspect of the male of the species, is permissible and won't get my ass flamed into next Friday. Moreover, the post didn't mention a then-breaking news item about the animals taking over Chiburishima, a small Japanese island.






Unfortunately I couldn't find a good photo of its giant balls, but this is a pretty standard depiction from Japanese folklore. The balls on these guys aren't actually quite that big...but they're pretty freakin' big. I saw one on TV once and they were like fists hanging amidst the fur.


Here we learn the following:

In biological terms, the mythical Tanuki's large "golden balls" are a true depiction of the real-life Tanuki. According to evolutionary biologists, the Tanuki's scrotum is large because of fierce competition among Tanuki males for females. Phrased differently, Tanuki copulate frequently, and those Tanuki with larger testes size have a greater chance of getting their genes into the next generation.

All those massive gonads are making lots of baby tanukis on Chiburishima...so many that people there are considering paying people to hunt and kill them, or importing giant bears to eat them. On the main island of Japan they have natural predators, but since they were introduced to Chiburishima about 60 years ago, there's nothing there to stop them. NOTHING CAN STOP THEM!

Here's a video about it, from here (also more info), but it's in Japanese. It does show the horrible consequences on tanukis run amok, though...SMASHED LETTUCE!!!!

Tags: mammal, tanuki
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