23 July 2013

Nothing in Biology Makes Sense: Making sense of the missing human baculum

Walruses on the corner If you think those tusks are impressive, you ain't seen nothing yet. Photo by Joe King.
Over at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! Sarah Hird discovers a case in which Creationists are willing to cite phylogenetic context to make a point, and that point is that God made Eve from the bone in Adam's penis. What, you didn't know that most mammals have a penis bone?

Baculum is the technical term for the penis bone. Many mammals have one – presumably to aid in sexual intercourse. For mammals that mate infrequently, prolonged intercourse ups the chances that a particular male sires some babies. For mammals that must mate quickly, the baculum provides immediate rigidity. And for all mammals, keeping the urethra straight while copulating is imperative, so maybe it’s there to prevent a kink in the works, so to speak.

To see the full phylogenetic context of the baculum, and learn some possible reasons why a male walrus has a two-footer but humans have none at all, go read the whole thing.◼

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