Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Dean Showed Me a Penis Bone

A walrus's penis bone
I'm sorry, people, I just had to share this story. I was having lunch with our Dean today. Before going into administration, he used to be a marine biologist. One of the things he used to show to his students (to an understandably great acclaim) was a penis bone of a walrus. I don't know about you, but I had no idea that penis bones actually existed in nature. I always thought there were part of folklore. The bone the Dean showed me was smaller than the one in the picture but it's still one of the most fascinating things I have ever seen. Just imagine how many things about our human culture would be completely different, if human males had something like this.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

It's called a baculum. Lots of mammals have them; I think they are very small, almost vestigial, in apes, and of course humans don't have them at all. I am not sure why it disappeared in our ancestors.

It might amuse you to know that walrus bacula are sometimes used as clubs by peoples who find them lying around ... how's that for subtext?

(There is also a logical fallacy, argumentum ad baculum, which means an appeal to fear. I think the reason "baculum" is used in the name of this phallusy is the thing I just mentioned, which is its utility as a bludgeon.)