Science Online 2010 Brain Bubbles: Duck Genitalia Doggerel
Not only did it serve as an object lesson (and what an object!–ed.) on the intricacies of science journalism in the age of the web, it became a running theme throughout an evening in which the tool a duck’s penis most resembles received an excellent work-out.
My own response?
Why a limerick, of course.
So, for all of you who sadly had to miss this most excellent meeting, I offer you this take-home. With no apologies.
There once was a mallard quite amorous
Whose genitalia were certainly glamorous
But its left handed screw
Rotating quite true,
Brought results that were sadly calamitous.*
*The calamity here implied could either be the destruction of the silicone vagina used in early versions of the experiment in question, or from the implications of the idea being tested that the co-evolution of duck penises and vaginas occurred in the midst of sexual competition to enable or prevent forced copulation. For the detailed account of the experiment in question — here’s the paper.
Update: Via @JBYoder, this. You will all be punished until moral improves.
Image: Song Dynasty (960-1229) album painting of a duck.