Male duck penises

To: <>
Subject: Male duck penises
From: "Telstra" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 23:10:04 +1000
The Age this morning ran a story on the 'Argentinian lake duck'. Apparently
this duck has a penis that can stretch up to 42.5 cm. (This is about the
length, head to tail-feathers, of the duck).

Most male ducks do not have penises but this does. By god it does! It is
shaped 'like a corkscrew'  with 'spines at its base and a brush-like tip',
Before ejaculation it uses its penis 'like bottlebrushes to remove sperm
stored in the oviduct by the female's previous consort'.

(And I had to take a cold shower reading about fairy wrens and their
techniques for randy female sperm removal.  I am currently typing this from
my laptop in the backyard swimming pool. This is Melbourne in spring -- it
isn't funny).

Apparently the article discussing this is in the current issue of Nature.
On checking my Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol 1, I assume the bird
described is Oxyura vittata or the Argentinian blue-billed duck. Or am I in
an April 1 timewarp? Or have I got the wrong duck?

The photo in HOTBOTW doesn't show as much as does the Age photo.  And I
looked in Narosky/ Yzurieta, Birds of Argentina & Uruguay (my copy opened
immediately at the required page!) but there is nothing there either.

Questions abound. The Age article concludes 'scientists are yet to determine
how much of his penis the drake actually inserts'. I want to know. This is a
worthwhile research topic.

Harry Clarke.

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