Are Four Heads Better Than One?

Via Scicurious on twitter, Lauren Reid at Pygmy Loris Has a pic and story that I suspect will gain a life of its own–the story of how scientists are learning more about the echidna’s four-headed penis. Two teasers, after the jump:

First, an old verse I happened to have lying about:

Two heads are better than one, so they say,
So four heads are better by far;
It took evolution to build this array,
And to humans, it still seems bizarre.

It never would work for a human male, though,
(Is it blessing, or is it a pity?)
See, men tend to think with their dicks, and we know
That nothing gets done by committee.

And then, to answer more questions than you thought you had… the video.


  1. baal says

    That anteater looked pretty happy but not satisfied. Ah,the lengths scientists will go to to learn stuff.
    It’s pretty interesting that the physical design of the penis in various mammals is variable and usually bears some relationship to that species mating strategies. There is probably some risk of Just-So analysis but I advocate everyone taking a look.

  2. carpenterman says

    It gets weirder. The two species of echidna and their fellow Australian the platypus are the only living monotremes; that is, mammels who have a single cannal for both reproduction and waste elimination. To say nothing of the fact that they lay freaking eggs.
    Australian life forms; if they don’t want to kill you horribly, they just want to mess with your mind. Or both.

  3. carpenterman says

    “To sleep, perchance to dream: aye, there’s the rub
    For in that sleep… what dreams may come…
    Must give us pause…”

    I’m tempted to try and dash off a verse of my own (a dreaming platypus is a very evocative image); but even I’m not arrogant enough to try to share a space with Bill.

  4. marcus says

    Video:”…they often mate with 11 males, one after another.” I hear there are slutty echidnas who mate with 13 or 14 one after another, I mean really, you have to draw the line somewhere.

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