Green Penis Syndrome In African Elephants

Wow. OK. So it seems my latest article on the gorilla’s penis has upset my esteemed colleague Brody J. Dickworth. Hopefully this means he has said his piece about his piece, but I very much doubt it.

Incidentally, Brody made a bizarre passing reference to elephants which reminds me of some interesting penis science worth relating here, if only to distance this majestic animal from its recent association with my colleague’s genitals.

At this point you might expect me to launch into my typical erudite exposition on the facts of the elephant penis: that it’s typically about 4 ft long, it bends in a S-shape when erect, and that it is able to writhe about independent from the elephant’s body because of special musculature (Short 1967). Well, dear reader, excuse me while I stifle a yawn.

Elephant Penis

Descriptive accounts of penises are all well and good–necessary even, as they are often the first step towards true penis science–but to focus solely on anatomy and physiology overlooks the larger aims of penis science, namely: 1) to give an evolutionary account of  penises, i.e. the why and not just the how of a specific penis, 2) to understand the penis’s role in reproductive and social behavior, and 3) explore ways to improve our own penises.

Thus far this blog has mostly been concerned with the first aim, such as in the echidna penis article, and we’ve touched on the third aim in the barbed penis article. But today I would like to explore second aim, by way of the African elephant and the strange phenomenon known as green penis syndrome.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements