Why hu­man men don’t have pe­nis bones

CityPress - - News -

Bri­tish re­searchers think they’re closer to an an­swer to why hu­man males don’t have pe­nis bones, even though their close cousins, chim­panzees, have them.

“Monogamy may have done away with the pe­nis bone,” said Matilda Brindle of Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don, who led the study pub­lished in the jour­nal Pro­ceed­ings of the Royal So­ci­ety B: Bi­o­log­i­cal Sci­ences.

Hu­mans have some­thing that chim­panzees don’t have: marriage. Most hu­man so­ci­eties are ei­ther monog­a­mous, or, if mul­ti­ple mates are al­lowed, it’s one man who is al­lowed to mate with more than one woman. So they don’t need to worry as much about mate com­pe­ti­tion.

Pe­nis bones help males keep things go­ing a lit­tle longer dur­ing mat­ing — help­ing to en­sure that they fa­ther any re­sult­ing off­spring.

Re­searchers were crunch­ing num­bers try­ing to fig­ure out pre­cisely when and why the pe­nis bone – whose sci­en­tific name is bac­u­lum – evolved.

“We found that it first evolved after pla­cen­tal and non-pla­cen­tal mam­mals split, around 145 mil­lion years ago, and be­fore about 95 mil­lion years ago,” Brindle said in a tele­phone in­ter­view.



UNBULLIEVABLE A bull savar (jockey) guides his bulls as he com­petes in a bull race in Pind­sul­tani, Pak­istan, on Tues­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.