Is That a Gun in That Duck’s Pocket?


It’s the oldest story in the book.  Drake meets hen, drake loses hen, another drake gets hen and cleans her oviduct with his penis.  What?!?

Most male birds don’t even have penises.  Rather, both sexes possess a cloaca, a single organ into which the intestinal and urogenital tracks disgorge.  Such birds copulate by means of a “cloacal kiss”, during which they briefly touch genital openings.

But a few species of birds do have penises, including turkeys, geese and ducks.  And one of these – the Argentine Lake Duck – has a penis almost as long as its body, nearly 17 inches (42.5 cm) when extended.

The Lake Duck’s penis is shaped like a corkscrew, and when not in use retracts into the duck’s abdomen.  Just as interestingly, it has a based covered with coarse spines, and a tip that is soft and brush-like.

Researchers postulate that the tip may serve to remove sperm deposited in the female’s oviduct by another male, thus increasing the latecomer’s chances of paternity.

And they say that romance is dead.


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