Thursday, June 13, 2013

the birds and the bees

Since I posted about bee semen earlier, I think it's only appropriate that I post about bird fucking as well. Specifically, it's mostly about bird penises (or lack thereof). Basically, some male birds have penises and some don't. Now scientists are trying to find out why. I'm just going to quote the article a few times, mostly out of context.
To see if Bmp was the cause of the penises’ disappearance, the scientists loaded beads with Bmp proteins and implanted them in the genital tubercles of ducks. Instead of growing normally, their penises ended up as withered vestiges.
Wow. That's pretty harsh: a withered vestige. That would be such a mean joke to play on someone. But then this happend:
The scientists then performed the opposite experiment. They loaded beads with a protein called Noggin, which blocks Bmp proteins. When they inserted the Noggin-laced beads into the tubercles of roosters, the cells stopped dying. Instead, the tubercle continued to grow. After tens of millions of years, the scientists had resurrected the bird penis, if only briefly.
At first I thought the rooster would be would be as grateful as the duck was disappointed, but it sounds like the miracle penis didn't stick around for long. It would be kind of like if Jesus cured a blind person, but it only lasted for a few minutes... and then the guy went back to being blind.

But I think my favorite quote might be this one:
“Evolution has likely come up with more than one way to lose the penis,” wrote Dr. Brennan, the University of Massachusetts bird genitalia expert, in an accompanying commentary.
Good to know. Maybe it's me, but he she (of course it's a woman) sounds genuinely impressed that nature can find all sorts of ways to get rid of penises, as if that's the ultimate goal of the natural realm. Anyhoos, I'm sure your other insights on penis devolution are as interesting as your business cards, Dr. Brennan, Bird Genitalia Expert.

You're welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment