We found a couple of items at PhysOrg that are … well, a bit difficult to describe. After you read about them, you may be tempted to indulge in school-yard humor. But we urge you, dear reader, to restrain that mischievous 12-year-old boy who lurks within each of us.
The first item is Cutting a bugs’ penis shorter found to reduce reproduction chances.
Before you start snickering, you need to read this excerpt:
Lopping off sections of a penis, for most species would involve serious injury and trauma (for some the mere thought of it might be enough) — but not so, apparently, for L. simulans. The males of these little bugs, which are typically just 11 millimeters or so in length, come equipped with a penis that is very nearly comical in its length, on average 7 mm, which for those keeping track, is in the neighborhood of two thirds of its body length (it drags the thing around beneath itself). Even more odd is that most of the penis, aka its intromittent organ, is bereft of nerves, muscles or even blood vessels. And even odder than that is the fact that the female organ into which the male places its appendage is much too short to accommodate such length. Thus, the researchers sought out to discover the reason for such a mismatch.
You’re interested, aren’t you? Okay, we’ll let you read it for yourself.
Here’s the next item we found: New evidence helps explain why some soft tissue fossilizes better than others. The headline interested us because of the claims of creationists that such tissue somehow proves that the Earth is young — see, e.g., Dinosaur Fossils Found with Hot Red Meat?
But it’s not really about that. Instead, the article discusses this:
For many years scientists have debated whether the “Cambrian Explosion” was the result of more species suddenly developing or whether it was just the result of more remains being fossilized and found. In this new effort, the researchers suggest it might have had to do with the development of the anus and a through-gut.
This is good stuff, but it’s going to be a challenge, dear reader. Your Curmudgeon is running a classy blog, so you must maintain a proper scientific attitude. We understand the almost irresistible temptations of the subject matter, but your comments must be — ahem! –in good taste.
We now declare this post to be an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. Talk about those articles or whatever you think is interesting — science, politics, philosophy, etc. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But beware of the profanity filters.
We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it!
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